Bendeela drowning - police divers find 27-year-old's body

A photo of the scene from the Sydney-based Lifesaver 21 helicopter.

A photo of the scene from the Sydney-based Lifesaver 21 helicopter.

Tuesday, December 27 – 

7.00am: A 27-year-old man’s body was recovered from the water at about 6.15pm on Monday. 

Police were called to the picnic ground at Bendeela at about 3.15pm to reports a person had entered the river with a friend and gotten into difficulty. 

Officers from Shoalhaven Local Area Command and the Marine Area Command, with the assistance of NSW Ambulance Paramedics, NSW State Emergency Services, Westpac Life Saver Rescue helicopters and a Caresouth helicopter, conducted an extensive search of the area; however, the man was not located.

Police divers were subsequently deployed to the location and the man’s body was located in the water a short distance away.

Local detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

A brief will be prepared for the information of the NSW Coroner.

Monday, December 26 –

6.50pm: A NSW Police Media spokeswoman said the search was ongoing. 

The spokeswoman said it was believed the man may have fallen out of a canoe. 

6.30pm: Both Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crews have completed their searches from air and in the water and are returning to their bases in Sydney and Moruya. 

6.20pm: Police divers will continue to search for the man until last light.

5.30pm: Sydney’s Lifesaver 21 helicopter is heading back to Bendeela Recreation Area, Kangaroo Valley, with NSW Police divers on board to continue searching. 

4.40pm: The male is confirmed to be a 25-year-old, not a child like first suspected. 

A male drowned in the same area on Boxing Day 2015. In that case, a 45-year old man from Hurstville in Sydney disappeared underwater, before being located dead by family and friends.

4.20pm: Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter CEO Stephen Leahy said the age of the person was unconfirmed. 

“We understand the male person was swinging from a rope swing into the river when he failed to resurface,” Mr Leahy said.

“Both helicopters have been sent. Sydney’s Lifesaver 21 has arrived and their rescue crew officer has been winched into the river where he has conducted a short search.

“He did not find anything and has been left on the side of the river.

“He will continue searching from behind a boat.”

Lifesaver 21 is returning to it’s La Perouse base to collect Police divers and take them back to Bendeela to join the search. 

Meanwhile, the South Coast-based Lifesaver 23 is also on route and will continue an aerial search until last light.  

4.00pm: Two rescue choppers are bound for a riverside camping ground in the Kangaroo Valley, where a swimmer disappeared Monday afternoon. 

Initial reports indicate the swimmer entered the Kangaroo River at Bendeela Recreational Area shortly after 3pm. 

The missing person’s distressed relative raised the alarm when they could not be located a short time later. 

Authorities have been told the missing person cannot swim. 

An ambulance rescue chopper, and two Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters are en route to the site.

Reports from the latter indicate the missing person is a six-year-old child. 


Emergency services are en route to search for a six-year-old missing in water at Bendeela, near Kangaroo Valley.

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopters from Sydney and the South are coast are both on their way, along with Careflight and police. 

More to come. 

File photo.

File photo.

This story Police divers find man’s body at Bendeela first appeared on South Coast Register.