The third day of searching for a missing swimmer on the Far South Coast has ended, sadly with no result or conclusion for the 42-year-olds family and friends.
Today’s (August 16) land, air, and sea search between Tathra and Bermagui happened under suitably grey skies, the multi-agency effort has found no trace of the Victorian other than the belongings he left on Gillards Beach before going for a swim late in the day on Wednesday (August 14).
It was the man’s brother who raised the alarm just before dusk two and a half days ago. Weather conditions at the time were fine with a slight northerly breeze and moderate sea-swells.
Police and a range of agencies have been involved since – State Emergency Service, Marine Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance, Surf Rescue NSW, PolAir, and National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“Today we had three IRBs and a jet ski on the water and the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter and Drone in the air, searching between Mogareeka and Bithry Inlet,” says Andrew Edmunds from Broulee Surf Club and Duty Officer with Far South Coast Surf Lifesaving.
“We also had some members underwater – diving, checking reefs and rocky areas.
“The area was covered very extensively but unfortunately nothing was found.”
Ten volunteers from surf clubs ranging from Batemans Bay to Pambula were involved today, building on the contribution yesterday and on Wednesday night.
“Its always sad when you don’t get a result, we tried the best we could to get an outcome for the family. Its a massive community response across a number of agencies, everyone does their absolute best,” Mr Edmunds says.
The search is expected to continue tomorrow but it is slowly being wound back as hopes of finding the man fade.
While being a popular and beautiful camping location within Mimosa Rocks National Park, Gillards Beach is seen by locals as being more suited to beach fishing and surfing rather than swimming.