A rock fisherman who drowned trying to save his girlfriend is one of at least 10 anglers who have died in the past two years at the same area on the Central Coast.
Police on Sunday scaled down the search for a Chinese student, 20, who also jumped into the water to save the woman who was dragged into the water off the southern coast of Lake Macquarie on Friday night.
Tuggerah Lakes duty officer Inspector Chris Wellfare on Sunday night said it was considered unlikely the second man would have survived.
‘‘We’re going into a recovery and monitoring phase now,” he said.
‘‘It was very dangerous today because of the weather. Today the Marine Area Command conducted a survivability exercise ... they found it was negligible he would have survived [in the water] taking into account all factors.
‘‘We haven’t been able to locate him on land and we’ve been very thorough.’’
Inspector Wellfare said patrols would continue on Monday.
On Saturday morning the woman who originally fell off the rocks watched in horror as the body of her partner Huiqing Hua, 25, was pulled from the water.
She cried and sat wrapped in a blue blanket with three others who had been there when the two Chinese nationals were washed out to sea off Wybung Head.
As she wept, up to 10 men were seen fishing off the rocks, without lifejackets, in the same spot where tragedy had struck the evening before.
"She is obviously highly distressed as you can understand,’’ Tuggerah Lakes police, Acting Inspector John Dooley, said.
Distraught friends huddled together on the headland for most of Saturday just above the rock platform which took Mr Hua and the student who is now feared dead.
The group, who police say were Chinese nationals living in western Sydney, had travelled up the coast on Friday for a fishing day trip.
Acting Inspector Dooley said none of them had been wearing lifejackets or appropriate footwear and they had no safety gear with them.
Surf Life Saving duty officer Matt Slattery, stood looking over the search zone and said he had lost count of the searches he had been called to in the same area.
The only fisherman found alive in that time was wearing a lifejacket.
"‘The only one that we’ve ever found alive, has been washed in and was wearing a lifejacket,’’ Mr Slattery said.
The Lake Macquarie coast is a deadly spot for rock fishers especially near Catherine Hill Bay and Moonee.
In 2012, three young people were swept to their deaths while rock fishing near Catherine Hill Bay.
The same spot claimed the lives of five anglers from Hong Kong in 2010.
Yet there were no multi-lingual warning signs about the dangers of rock fishing in the area.
Twenty people died rock fishing in NSW from July 2011 to May 2013, according to a NSW government discussion paper released in August last year.
The paper proposes the mandatory wearing of lifejackets for rock fishers to prevent future drownings.
Local fishermen say the stretch of coast is treacherous and catches many people off guard.
"At that actual location, the people who go rock fishing aren’t prepared for the danger of the sport,’’ Peter Trenear, of Pelicans Wharf Fishing Tackle, said.
‘‘For the inexperienced, it can be life threatening.’’