So there’s these three asians right and they decide to go rock fishing near Port Kembla below Hill 60 at a notorious rock platform called Honeycomb Rocks.
It’s Easter Good Friday and Nino Agaya (34) drives the three of them straight from Sydney’s ethnic Punchbowl down the coast. They rock up, no life jackets, walk out to the rock platform, bait up with won tons and cast out.
There is a decent swell and the rock platform where they are set up is well wet and its approaching high tide.
Anyway, it’s Nino Agaya’s secret spot and he’s fished there many times, no worries. Looks calm enough. Who needs life jacket. Free-spirit rock fishing best.
One asian says to another, “Hey, Wang Fang, that’s a big fish, see the black fin!”
The other asian replies, “No Nino, that shark.”
“Oh, what good bait for shark?”, asks Wang Fang.
“Not sure,” replies Nino.
The three get distracted by someone waving from the shore pointing.
Suddenly, the sea surges and few small waves splash around their feet. Then a big wave swamps them sweeping them into the sea two meters below – hook, line and sinker. Nino falls on to his friend, pushing him under the water and causing him to hit his leg on the rocks.
The hero trio are dragged out into a rip over their heads and the black fin disappears. They are in the sea for quite a while and someone throws a convenient life ring to them. It is positioned ready for such idiots.
Just so happens a fishing boat nearby sees the spectacle and motors over. The skipper sees the shark nearby and identifies it as a Tiger Shark and shouts, “Swim for it you dumb nips, or you’ll be lunch!”
Nino later recounts, “We were on the boat and saw a shark roaming just around the boat.”
“We very rucky!”
“Must have been be old “rogue wave” again.
Nino’s friend gets taken to Wollongong Hospital for treatment to a fractured leg.
Honeycomb Rocks has been the scene of rock fishing deaths in the past. In 2009, Port Kembla was named the fifth most deadly place for rock fishing in the country.
But free-spirit rock fisher hero Mr Agaya said the ordeal wouldn’t stop him from fishing. “I’ll be a bit more cautious next time, with these conditions you have be at least prepared, maybe a life vest would be handy,” he says to the media.
TIMELINE OF ‘FREE-SPIRIT’ ROCK FISHING AT PORT KEMBLA
- April 2013: Asian (44) from Habersham in south-west Sydney succumbs after being swept off Honeycomb Rocks while fishing with his 13-year-old son and another family member
- July 2012: Rock fisherman succumbs after slipping into the sea at Honeycomb Rocks while his friends’ backs were turned
- April 2010: Fisherman swept off Honeycomb Rocks. The tragedy came just two weeks after police used angel rings to rescue a fisherman in the same area
- July 2009: A 28-year-old Hurlstone Park man (asian) was swept into the ocean while fishing from a rock shelf in front of Port Kembla Heritage Park. A four-day search has so far failed to find his body (shark bait)
- March 2009: A 71-year-old Strathfield asian succumbs off Honeycomb Rocks, Port Kembla. A coronial inquest is under way
- July 2006: A 51-year-old Bonnyrigg asian succumbs after being washed off rocks at Red Point, Port Kembla
- April 2006: A 34-year-old Canley Vale asian succumbs while rock fishing at Port Kembla during a weekend of rough seas and big swells
- April 2002: A 52-year-old Seven Hills asian succumbs off Honeycomb Rocks, Port Kembla, after he was swept into the ocean. His body was later found in the stomach of a shark caught in Lake Macquarie
- May 2000: A husband and wife both succumb while they were fishing off Honeycomb Rocks. Both believed to be of asian extraction.
Asians most welcome at Honeycomb Rocks in autumn.