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News & Media

  • Police scour Lake Illawarra for missing kayaker
  • May 10, 2016

The capsized kayak rigged for fishing found in Lake Illawarra this morning.


Police are no closer to identifying a suspected missing kayaker two days after his unmanned vessel was found capsized on Lake Illawarra.

As of Sunday evening police said they had no fresh information about the baffling incident, which authorities were first alerted to on Saturday morning.

The vessel was laden with fishing equipment and had burley baits set when it was found overturned just east of the Windang Bridge pylons about 6am Saturday.

The discovery came about three and a half hours after a fisherman noticed the kayak on the water, with a man wearing a headlamp on board.

Police quickly distributed a picture of the orange vessel via social media in the hope it would lead them to an innocent explanation of the man’s disappearance.

However, no one has yet come forward to identify the kayak and police said they had received no reports of missing people or overdue anglers.

Lake Illawarra duty officer Darren Brown told the Mercury on Sunday night that police would begin searching the lake again on Monday morning.

‘”At this stage the Marine Area Command [Water Police] have indicated that they will do a search tomorrow,” he said.

“The search today [Sunday] did not lead to any new developments.”

Meantime, Lake Illawarra police inspector Paul Allman earlier told the Mercury that several factors made police concerned for the man’s wellbeing.

“The kayak was quite extensively set up, with a number of fishing rods and other items on that kayak,” he said.

“That vessel was being used [on Saturday morning] and we are searching for a person that may have fallen into the water.

“It does look quite calm, but there is a strong tidal flow here.”

The search primarily focused on an incoming tide, on the advice of Marine Rescue.

PolAir swept the area throughout Saturday and again on Sunday.

Marine Rescue and NSW Surf Lifesaving also carried out searches.

A fisherman told the Mercury the kayak was found a short distance from a section of unstable sand on the lake floor.

“It’s like quicksand. The water’s only knee-deep, but I’ve gotten sunk up to here,” he said, indicating his chest.

It is understood police visited nearby carparks over the weekend in search of a car that could have been parked there all day.

Anyone who may know the identity of the orange kayak’s owner should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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