Skip to main content

Two swimmers have drowned and another remains missing at Moonee Beach 10km north of Coffs Harbour.

Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre (SOC) was notified by NSW Police at approximately 6.20pm that a group of swimmers were in distress 300 metres from shore at the southern end of Moonee Beach. 

Off-duty Coffs Harbour Lifeguards responded promptly along with the Surf Life Saving North Coast Duty Officer and Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter. 

Lifeguards identified six people in the water as they conducted the mass rescue with rescue boards. Three of the patients were treated by paramedics and remain in a serious condition, while two could not be resuscitated and one person remains missing. 

An air and water search was then conducted and continued until dark. 

Police Marine Area Command along with Surf Life Saving assets including jetskis, IRB's and the SLSNSW UAV team will commence a search for the missing person on Tuesday morning. 

"Our thoughts and hearts go out to the family of the victims and to the brave lifeguards that responded and tried valiantly to save everyone," said SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce.

"This terrible tragedy highlights the importance of swimming at patrolled locations and understanding how to identify rips and the dangers they present. An event like this unfolding so close to the festive season only magnifies the grief and devastation."


Monday 17 December 2018