One dead, two rescued in big NSW seas


A rock fisherman has drowned and another two men have been rescued from their overturned boat as dangerous conditions continue to pound Australia's east coast.

The bureau of meteorology has issued strong wind warnings in NSW, Victoria and parts of Queensland for Monday, and warned people to re-think planned activities along the coast in NSW.

A 28-year-old man and a 36-year-old man were airlifted from their boat suffering hypothermia on Saturday night after it rolled over approximately two kilometres off Wanda Beach in Bate Bay, near Cronulla in Sydney's south.

Police said the two men who were not wearing life jackets were rescued at 10.30pm, four and a half hours after their boat capsized.

The boat's EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon) wasn't activated until 9.45pm.

Police were told one man swam back under the boat a number of hours after the boat rolled to locate and activate the beacon.

The men were flown to Cronulla beach where they were treated by ambulance officers before being transferred to Sutherland Hospital suffering hypothermia.

One man also had cuts to his head.

In southern NSW an angler drowned after being swept off rocks at Merry Beach, south of Nowra on Saturday morning.

Emergency services used the Westpac Life Rescue Helicopter to search for the man who was found drowned floating face down.

The hazardous conditions hit the coast in the first week of the bureau's new Hazardous Surf Warning service designed to to alert the public when conditions were dangerous for rock fishing, boating or swimming due to wave height and swells created by weather systems far off the coast.

The bureau's weather services manager for NSW, Jane Golding, said a driver for developing the Hazardous Surf Warning was to reduce rock fishing injuries and deaths.

"These new warnings will help people make informed decisions about how and when they enjoy the coastal environment," she said.