Two men were “sunbaking naked” on the NSW south coast when they were “startled by a deer” and ran into a national park, where they had to be rescued by emergency services – before being hit with $ 1000 fines.
NSW’s top cop relayed the bizarre story at a press conference on Monday where he gave an update on the latest fines issued for breaches of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Forty-four people were issued with tickets over the past 24 hours, mostly for failing to wear a mask but also for being out of their homes or outside of the Greater Sydney area “without a reasonable excuse”.
“Unbelievably, we saw two men sunbaking naked on a beach on the south coast,” NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.
“They were startled by a deer, ran into the national park and got lost. Not only did they require assistance from SES and police to rescue them, they also both received a ticket for $ 1000.”
Mr Fuller said it was “only a small percentage” of people who were not following the health orders, “but I can assure you, if you breach the health orders or the guidelines, you will be punished”.
In a media release, NSW Police provided more detail about the rescue of the men from the Royal National Park at Otford.
“About 6pm on Sunday, the men called for assistance after becoming lost in bushland during a visit to a remote beach,” police said.
“Police Rescue assisted by the State Emergency Service, NSW Ambulance and Polair responded to the area, locating a 30-year-old man naked and carrying a backpack on the walking track near Lady Wakehurst Drive. After a further search, a 49-year-old man, partially clothed, was also located. The men told police they were on a nearby beach when they ran into bushland after being startled by a deer.”
The men were taken to St George Police Station and issued $ 1000 fines for breaching the current public health order prohibiting those from Greater Sydney travelling outside the region.
In a separate incident, a Shellharbour cafe operator has been charged and is “subject to strict bail conditions” after neither she nor her staff were wearing masks.
“About 9.40am, officers from Lake Illawarra Police District attended a cafe in Addison Street responding to reports staff were failing to comply with the current public health orders,” police said.
“When officers arrived, they saw neither the staff or the operator were wearing face masks. The operator was reminded of her obligations under the current health orders but allegedly refused to comply.”
The two staff members put masks on but the 38-year-old woman was arrested.
She was charged with failing to comply with the direction to wear masks in retail premises, and for not ensuring her employees were wearing masks.
“She was given bail conditions to strictly comply with the public health orders and not to incite or encourage others to defy them,” police said.
“She is due to appear in Port Kembla Local Court on Wednesday 21 July 2021.”
In another incident, police stopped a car on the Hume Highway at Goulburn. The driver, a 33-year-old man from Ermington, was issued with a $ 1000 fine and ordered to immediately return to Sydney.
“Police have received hundreds of calls from the public over the weekend reporting potential public health order breaches, and would like to thank the vast majority of the community for their co-operation with the new rules,” police said.