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Surf lifesavers are pleading with holidaymakers to always swim between the red and yellow flags, at patrolled locations, after a teenager drowned at an unpatrolled beach on the NSW Lower North Coast today.

The 17-year-old boy was swimming with members of his family at Diamond Beach near Forster when he got into trouble in a rip. A family member entered the surf in an attempt to save the boy but quickly got into trouble himself and was unable to render assistance. He was later hospitalised, requiring treatment for water inhalation.

Police officers on the scene pulled the boy from the water before performing CPR. Paramedics arrived and continued CPR but were unable to revive the boy.

Steven Pearce, CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW, said that it was a tragic start to the school holidays.

“This is a heartbreaking incident, and our thoughts are with the boy’s family at this time,” said Steven Pearce.

With the weather warming up for the long weekend, lifesavers and lifeguards are on high alert and are urging the public to be extremely wary at remote and unpatrolled locations.

“Please, if you’re heading to the beach these school holidays or this coming long weekend, swim at a patrolled location and always swim between the red and yellow flags,” said Steven Pearce.

Volunteers are back on the beach on weekends and public holidays and the Australian Lifeguard Service is patrolling many beaches along the coast on weekdays.

Go to or download the app to find your nearest patrolled location.

Beach Safety Tips

  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website

  • Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information

  • Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water

  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm

  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police

  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.


There have been eight coastal and ocean drowning deaths in NSW since 1 July 2020

Wednesday 30 September 2020