Wild NSW weather forces evacuations, search for yachtie

Wild NSW weather forces evacuations, search for yachtie

An Australian yachtsman is missing, presumed dead, after he was washed off his boat in wild weather off the New South Wales coast.

Hundreds of residents have been forced out of their homes, with floodwater still inundating much of the Hunter Valley and Newcastle.

Under clearer skies, on calmer water, the search resumed for missing Sydney sailor 62-year-old Mal Lennon.

He was thrown overboard into the rough seas off the New South Wales coast yesterday.

Area Command Superintendent Mark Hutchings says despite best efforts, there has been no result yet.

"We are still looking for the man, but unfortunately after and due to the sea conditions we do believe this will be a recovery mission."

Four other boats got into trouble in swells up to eight metres and even the marine rescue boat that went out to help a yacht was smashed by a huge wave, injuring two crew members.

Inland, the only way in or out was by boat. Emergency services received more than 2000 calls for help.

And it wasn't just humans needing a hand.

Dogs and other animals, clearly distressed, had to be evacuated when their kennels were inundated.

Everyone it seems is just fed up and over the rain. But the good news is it is beginning to subside.

The sun is finally beginning shine in some places, the temperature is warming up, and this will allow residents to face their next mission the big clean up.

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