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Lifesavers are assisting in a major search operation for a man who went missing while swimming at Fingal Head in Northern NSW on Wednesday afternoon.

It is understood the man was visiting the unpatrolled beach with a friend when he got into difficulty in a powerful rip shortly after 3pm.

His age and the circumstances of how he got into difficulty are not known at this time.

The man was last seen struggling about 200 metres off shore.

The Surf Emergency Response System tasked the Tweed call-out team to the incident with three inflatable rescue boats from Fingal Rovers SLSC, lifeguards, a branch support operations jet ski, and duty officers all tasked to attend.

Also responding was the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter based at Lismore, paramedics and UAVS from

Lennox Head also placed on standby. 

A grid search was conducted and dye was dropped from the helicopter to determine the direction of the currents. 

At the time of the incident conditions were described as “choppy” with a small but messy surf due to strong winds. 

Tweed Shire Council has recently extended lifeguard services at nearby Kingscliff Beach to seven months of the year and it was patrolled at the time of the incident.

SLSNSW will continue to make lifesaving assets available with the search being led by the NSW Police. 


Wednesday 7 February 2018