A boater has his lifejacket, and the fact he logged his trip with authorities, to thank for saving his life after he was thrown from his runabout and spent hours floating in the ocean off the South Coast.
The 54-year-old was found in distress on Racecourse Beach, near Bawley Point, on Friday afternoon during a multi-agency search for an overdue boater.
The search was sparked after a lifejacket, fishing gear and a distress signal v-sheet were found washed up on shore.
Two Marine Rescue NSW vessels from Ulladulla responded to the area, along with police, paramedics and the Moruya-based Westpac Life Saver Helicopter.
The man was located on Racecourse Beach just after 2pm.
The helicopter crew was winched onto the beach and treated the man for cuts, abrasions and hypothermia.
"Appears he was in the water for several hours. His lifejacket and his radio log with @MarineRescueNSW saved him," a tweet from the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter service said.
It is understood the man's open runabout sank after being hit by a freak wave.
He managed to swim to rocks on the shoreline but was battered by waves before being rescued.
There is no sign of the boat.