Four men winched from remote NSW beach

Sarah McPhee

Four men have been airlifted to safety from a remote beach in NSW's southeast after their commercial fishing trawler hit an underwater reef and began taking on water.

The fishermen activated their distress beacon and issued a Mayday call about 6.20am on Saturday but were able to make it in a life raft from their sinking vessel to the isolated Bengunnu Point, north of Tathra, in the state's Bega Valley.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and Toll Air Ambulance, from Canberra, responded within an hour, winching the men to Bermagui where they were treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics for mild hypothermia.

Stephen Leahy, chief executive officer of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters, has praised the quartet for their "outstanding" job at preventing personal injury.

"They've done absolutely everything right and as a result these men are all fine and well," he told AAP.

"Whilst accidents happen, they have absolutely mitigated any risk."

Mr Leahy said the trawler's distress beacon signal is still active, with its frequency being picked up by overhead airliners, but it is too dangerous to board the unstable boat so alternative methods will be explored to turn it off.