ACT News


Fishermen trigger rescue response at Malua Bay

Two rock fishermen triggered an emergency response at Malua Bay on Friday when they became separated from a rocky headland on Friday while catching salmon and bream.

The flags were dropped and beach closed after a man nearby on a balcony, who had been watching the fishermen through bincolulars, rang 000.

Lifeguard Bernard Robben paddled 800 metres around rocks to check on the two fishermen's safety at about 10am.

The nearby Southcare helicopter was tasked to rescue the pair, but was called away to another job when it became clear it was not needed.

“They had planned to be there and walked out about 6am and were in place for the high tide at 9am," Mr Robben said.

Although it was a long paddle, the water was calm.


“The swell dropped right down, there were a few submerged rocks that came out of nowhere," he said.

Earlier in the week on Christmas Eve, Mr Robben and lifeguard Casidhe Rutter rescued a 44-year-old Korean man and his 13-year-old daughter who were caught in a rip at Malua bay.

Mr Robben said it was a well known rip created by the small beach which left little room for the water to retreat.

He hit the water with a board, while Ms Rutter took a tube and put it over the teenager, who was becoming distressed.

Her father had a board, but had let it go and plunged to the bottom of the sea.

“They got into strife and panicked a bit,” Ms Rutter said.

“We went out about 40 metres and then swam them to the breakers to settle them down."

The lifesaver said the two swimmers had no experience in surf conditions.

“They had next to no swimming experience, even less on the beach,” she said.

“They had their mum on the beach and they got too far out .”