THE notorious southern Lake Macquarie rock shelves have claimed another life with the drowning of a woman swept off the rocks.
Police said the 43-year-old woman was fishing with her husband at Snapper Point, in the Lake Munmorah Recreational Reserve, when she was swept into the water by a wave shortly before 5pm on Wednesday.
The woman died before emergency services arrived at the scene.
Surf lifesavers were joined by Tuggerah Lakes police to retrieve the woman’s body from the water.
The woman was not believed to be wearing a life jacket and was fully clothed.
Surf Life Saving NSW said the king tide meant more rocks were exposed than usual, with the median-sized swell described as “choppy”.
The organisation’s chief executive, Steven Pearce, said the tragedy was a reminder of the dangers of the ocean.
“The incident happening so late in the day highlights why it is so important to be at a patrolled location, especially if it is an unfamiliar environment that you only visit while on holidays,” Mr Pearce said.
“I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the lifeguards who immediately switched their focus to rescue mode and conducted a highly professional operation under very challenging circumstances,” said Mr Pearce.
“On behalf of everyone in the lifesaving community, I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the woman’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
It comes only four days after a 30-year-old who got caught in a rip drowned at nearby Frazer beach.
That man was understood to be swimming with his brother shortly after 3pm on New Year’s Eve when both men found themselves in trouble about 300 metres from a patrolled area.
The blackspot has claimed countless lives at several notorious locations along a three kilometre stretch from Flat Rock, south of Catherine Hill Bay, to Wybung Head, on the Central Coast.