Tragedy has struck the NSW Central Coast as the bodies of an elderly couple who were sightseeing have been found in waters off of Moonee Beach.
Authorities believe the couple were visiting the popular Pink Cave tourist destination when they were struck by a freak wave that washed them off the rocks and into the sea on Monday.
The body of the 80-year-old woman was found near Moonee Beach on Monday, while the body of her 76-year-old husband was located by police helicopter yesterday morning.
Speaking on the tragedy at a press conference yesterday, NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector, Peter Vromans, told reporters that he believes that this was a sightseeing trip gone wrong.
“The search continued [on Monday] and [Tuesday] morning for her husband, and tragically at 9:45 am [on Tuesday] our police helicopter spotted him in the water.”
He said despite growing interest in the Pink Cave due to social media, the area is notorious for drownings and that the stretch of coastline from Catherine Hill Bay to the south is extremely treacherous.
Family members have told police that the couple had visited the Pink Cave before and that they were fit for their age.
Despite being popular with travellers, Moonee Beach is currently unpatrolled by surf lifesavers.
This tragic incident follows the death of a woman in her 20s who was also swept off rocks while sightseeing at the Pink Cave in April of this year. Police also revealed that a man drowned in the area only one month ago.
Police noted that the elderly couple were not wearing life jackets at the time of their deaths and issued a stern warning for prospective travellers looking to visit the Pink Cave.
“From speaking to the surf lifesavers at the scene, they explained that the conditions can appear quite calm for minutes but then a large swell can come through and take people unawares,” said Detective Chief Inspector Vromans.
“Winds can change, conditions can change, and to anyone other than an expert it is very difficult to pick what is going to happen in the next few minutes.”