Missing fisher found drowned
By JAMIE BROWN AN elderly rock fisherman from Evans Head drowned yesterday on a wild and scenic stretch of coast known as Goanna Headland.
The man, aged in his mid-70s, set off from his home about 6am yesterday, keen to spin a lure for tailor along the rocky shores of his favourite headland, as he had done for more than 40 years.
When he hadn't returned after lunch his family became worried and searched for him, discovering his body on the rocky ramparts of Bryants Beach.
The scenic crescent of sand, tucked between cliffs of heath, is accessible by small tracks worn by the feet of fellow rock fishermen.
It appears the man may have fallen into the sea early in the day, his gear still rigged for travelling and none of his bait cut.
After toppling in, his experience appears to have guided him to battle for survival. He stripped off his clothes in a bid to swim better and stronger.
But regaining a sharp, rocky shore is never easy and he drowned.
With police and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter alerted, the task of retrieving the body was hampered by a fresh south-easterly wind and the confines of Bryants Beach.
The helicopter dropped a paramedic and later winched the body off the beach and transferred it to an ambulance waiting at Chinamans Beach car park.