Skipper charged over fatal boat incident at Bulli, NSW

A skipper has been charged today after his boat capsized off the coast of Wollongong late last year, leaving one man dead and three others in a serious condition.

Emergency services were called to waters off Waniora Point, Bulli, about 10.20am on Sunday 31 October 2021, after reports a vessel had capsized with seven men on board.

Police have been told the boat was close to the reef and being struck by waves when it capsized.

Surfers and Surf Life Savers pulled the seven men from the water before taking them to Bulli Beach.

Surf Life Savers, and an off-duty doctor and nurse on the beach, performed CPR on four of the men.

One of the men, aged 37, died at the scene.

The three others were revived, with two of the men — aged 39 and 42 — airlifted to St George and Liverpool hospitals in critical conditions and the other man, aged 32, taken by road to Wollongong Hospital.

The men have since recovered and been released from hospital.

The skipper and owner of the vessel, a 37-year-old man, was treated for minor injuries and underwent mandatory testing, which returned a negative result.

Two other men, aged 38 and 33, were also treated for minor injuries.

Officers from the Marine Area Command and Wollongong Police District commenced an investigation into the incident under Strike Force Gwyyher.

Following extensive inquiries, the skipper was issued a court attendance notice about 11am today (Friday 7 January 2022), for the offence of negligent navigation causing death.

He is due to appear before Wollongong Local Court on Thursday 17 February 2022.

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