A Ballarat fisherman experienced a heart-stopping ordeal when his boat began to take on water north of Tathra.
Early on Wednesday morning, Daryl Treloar took off to fish in the ocean, saying it was “calm as a lake” when he first set out.
“I thought as it’s my last day here, I want to go out and make it a good one,” he said.
But around 8.30am, he said the trouble began when waves started blowing up.
Then, while he was attempting to head back to shelter waves came over the nose and into the boat.
“Constant waves were coming over the top of the boat,” Mr Treloar said.
“The more water it took on the heavier it got and the nose went lower and lower until every single wave was coming in.”
Standing in water halfway up his calves he decided to head for shore, saying he knew the closer he got to land the safer he would be as if his boat sank it would not be as far to swim.
“The main thing I was thinking about was not panicking,” he said.
“I had to stand in the middle of the boat because if I stood on a side, all the water would slop to that side too and the boat would tip.”
He landed his boat at Gillards Beach, where three men came down to help him bail water out. After a while, they pushed the boat out and he stuck as close to shore as he could on his slow way back to Kianinny.
While Mr Treloar did not release a distress call, close to 10am Tathra Surf Life Saving Club released an alert saying a boat had taken on water off Kianinny Bay, with members riding out to check on the situation.
“The ocean is a mischievous mistress!” Mr Treloar said after he landed.
“I wasn’t taking it for granted, but I didn’t think it would get that bad that quick.
“I’m used to fishing in a bay and coming out into the ocean, it’s a steep learning curve.
“All in all, I’m very lucky.”
Mr Treloar wanted to thank the lifeguards and police for checking he would make it to safety, saying “it’s just good to know they had my back”.
Fortunately, the ordeal has not turned him off from holidaying in Tathra with his wife and children.
“We love the place, we want to make a booking for next year!” he said.