A search was conducted for a diver feared missing near Grotto Point after a dive buoy was found unattended.

Just before 11.15am this morning (Sunday, 07 July), a dive buoy that was found unattended in the water near Grotto Point, Balgowlah Heights, at Middle Harbour, was reported to emergency services by a concerned bystander.

Just after midday, officers from NSW Police Marine Area Command and the Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) from Manly Life Saving Club were tasked to investigate the dive buoy.

Lifesavers from Manly dived in to investigate and retrieve the buoy. Fortunately, they did not find anyone attached to the rope when the dive buoy was pulled from the water.

Once they retrieved the buoy, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter which had also been tasked to search the area, was released from the scene to proceed to another search operation underway in Sydney’s south at Little Bay Beach, Little Bay, in which two rock fishers who were washed from rocks were both found drowned.

Dive buoy found at Grotto Point

Lifesavers at Grotto Point handed the dive buoy over to water police, and with no sign of its owner, they were released from the search just before 1.15pm.

Unable to immediately locate the owner of the dive buoy, NSW Police put out a statement asking for public assistance to help identify the owner.

“About 11.10am today (Sunday 7 July 2024), emergency services were called to Grotto Point Reserve, Balgowlah Heights, following reports a diver’s buoy was located floating close to shore.

“A diver’s buoy is usually used to mark the location of a diver or is towed by a spearfisherman when underwater; however, no diver or spearfisherman were found near the buoy.

“Officers attached to Northern Beaches Police Area Command attended the scene before extra resources from Marine Area Command commenced a search operation in the area.

“While the buoy is potentially lost, police hold serious concerns for the potential owner of the buoy’s welfare. The buoy is bright orange in colour with a black ‘adreno’ logo, and small blue and white flag attached.

“As inquiries continue, police are appealing to anyone who may have information about the buoy’s owner to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. If you may have lost the buoy whilst diving or spearfishing in this area, please let police know,” said the NSW Police statement.

Dive buoy found at Grotto Point

At the time of writing, NSW Police had not officially confirmed the owner of the dive buoy had been located, but it is understood that the owner of the buoy was found safe this evening. It appears the diver was unable to retrieve the buoy following a dive yesterday due to poor conditions.

Update 8.45pm Sunday, 07 July 2024:

NSW Police have issued a statement confirming the owner of the diving buoy has been located.

“Police would like to thank the community after a diver’s buoy was found in Sydney’s north.

“About 11.10am today (Sunday 7 July 2024), emergency services were called to Grotto Point Reserve, Balgowlah Heights, following reports a diver’s buoy was located floating close to shore.

“A diver’s buoy is usually used to mark the location of a diver or is towed by a spearfisherman when underwater; however, no diver or spearfisherman were found near the buoy.

“Officers attached to Northern Beaches Police Area Command attended the scene before extra resources from Marine Area Command commenced a search operation in the area.

“Following a public appeal for information about the buoy, police believe they have now located its owner safe and well,” said the NSW Police statement.

Images: NSW Police

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