28 December 2023

UPDATED: Search for missing swimmer off Congo suspended

| Zoe Cartwright
Start the conversation
NSW MArine Rescue crew help a boat in distress.

NSW Marine Rescue had its busiest year on record helping fishermen and boaties in distress. Photos: NSW Marine Rescue.

UPDATED 28 December, 5 pm: Police say they have called off the search for a swimmer missing off Congo Beach since Boxing Day.

The three-day search for the swimmer, who was swept to sea after helping a relative caught in a rip, has been ongoing since 3:30 pm on Tuesday (26 December), and involved local police, PolAir, Marine Area Command as well as Surf Lifesavers, Marine Rescue NSW, the Westpac Rescue helicopter and SES.

Despite an extensive search of the water and surrounding land, the 19-year-old man from Sydney has not been located, and the search was suspended at midday today (Thursday, 28 December).

As inquiries continue, anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

9:30am: Emergency services have begun the third day of searching for a swimmer who went missing off Congo Beach on Boxing Day.

Five Marine Rescue NSW assets were deployed this morning as the search continues for the 19-year-old man who was swept out to sea after rescuing a family member who was struggling in the surf.

Batemans Bay 30, Narooma 30 and Tuross Moruya 21 have been joined by volunteers on board two-rescue watercraft (jet skis) from Marine Rescue Tuross Moruya.

Under the direction of NSW Police Marine Area Command, volunteer crews are conducting a contour line search from Bingie Point north to Pedro Point.

Today’s search began at 8:30 am, after yesterday’s search was called off in the evening due to poor visibility.

27 December, 9 am: The search for a missing swimmer off Congo Beach resumed this morning, after darkness forced a pause last night.

At around 3:30 pm on Tuesday (26 December) emergency services were called to Congo Beach, about 10 km south of Moruya, following reports a man was missing in the surf.

Officers from South Coast Police District were informed the 19-year-old man had rescued a family member who was experiencing difficulties in the surf, when he became caught in a rip and was swept out to sea.

READ ALSO Police launch holiday road safety blitz as 2023 death toll soars

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers on board rescue vessels Narooma 30, Tuross 21 and Batemans Bay 30 immediately began to search for the man, but could not find him before last light.

The search resumed at 7 am today (Wednesday, 27 December), with local police, PolAir, Marine Area Command, Surf Lifesavers, Marine Rescue NSW, and the Westpac Rescue helicopter.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.

Original Article published by Zoe Cartwright on Region Illawarra.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.