The search for a Malaysian tourist swept off the rocks near Carnarvon has been downscaled this morning due to bad weather.
The 39-year-old man was reported missing about 10am Wednesday at a beach near Quobba Station, 80km north of Carnarvon.
Carnarvon SES unit manager Michael Stroet said the man was fishing with a friend at a popular fishing spot when he slipped off the rocks.
It is understood the man's friend tried to throw him a life ring.
After initial search efforts involving a fishing charter and Rio Tinto vessels, Mr Stroet said the friend reported him missing to Carnarvon police about noon.
The fishing spot, which Mr Stroet said was either called "Flat Rock" or "The Boundary," is about 4km north of the intersection of Gnaraloo Road and Blowholes Road.
"Quite a few people have been taken there before. There's also a big king wave kill sign just before you get to that area," Mr Stroet said.
"It's great fishing and that's the problem; every fishing magazine you buy, you see a story about this spot.
"It's pretty rugged and I think he just slipped off the rocks."
Water Police Senior Constable Barney Hutchison said the man and his friend, also believed to be a Malaysian tourist, were fishing on a lower ledge at the blowholes when tragedy struck.
"From what I believe (the wave) has come up behind him and pushed him off the actual shelf into the water," he said.
He said the men would have walked past a plaque remembering three other people who died near the "notorious" rocks.
"There's also a life ring saying 'treacherous coastline'," he said.
"Yet they have walked past that and gone down to the lower ledge and gone fishing."
A police spokesman said the air and sea components of the search had been suspended this morning because of unfavourable conditions.
He said the land-based search would continue, but some areas had been deemed off-limits in view of the weather."The weather conditions are being closely monitored at the scene and a review will take place mid-morning to determine if it is safe to commence air and sea based searches," he said.