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Despite the best efforts of lifeguards and emergency responders a man has drowned after getting into difficulty while bodyboarding at Yamba’s Main Beach  in Northern NSW on Wednesday.

It is understood that the 57-year-old was visiting the area from Brisbane when the incident occurred shortly after 9am.

The man and his son were on bodyboards at the southern end of the beach when the man became distressed after getting caught in a rip current.

It is not known how he got into difficulty or if a medical condition played a role in the emergency.

The man was pulled unconscious from the water by a lifeguard from the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) with the assistance of a member of the public who was an off-duty police officer.

Lifeguards and lifesavers including the Far North Coast Branch Duty Officer who attended the scene, immediately commenced CPR on the man with the aid of the public first responders.

Treatment was continued until paramedics arrived and he left the beach in an Ambulance.

Despite the best efforts of all involved he was unable to be revived and was later pronounced deceased.

The tragedy comes ahead of the NSW School Holiday start this weekend and is a sobering reminder of the dangers of the ocean.

“Our thoughts go out to the man’s family and friends who witnessed this tragic incident this morning,” said ALS Northern NSW Coordinator Scott McCartney.

“It’s an extremely difficult situation and while it wasn’t the outcome we were all hoping for, the prompt response of all involved including those members of the public gave the man the best chance of survival.”

Yamba Beach is currently patrolled by lifeguards which will continue into the holiday period.

A hazardous surf warning is in place for much of NSW and is likely to continue for at least the next 24 hours as powerful swells track north along the coastline. 


Wednesday 11 April 2018