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Two dead after being caught in Park Beach rip

TWO swimmers have tragically lost their lives after drowning at Park Beach near the north wall.

The two men, aged 28 and 30, are believed to have entered the water at Park Beach between Coffs Creek and the north wall, about 600 metres south of the patrolled area at about 3.40pm.

The spot the two men entered was the site of a large rip and early reports suggest the pair were very quickly dragged out.

"I imagine they've been dragged out, hit the panic button and have gone under pretty quickly," Coffs Harbour Lifeguard coordinator Greg Hackfath said.

As the pair were so far away from the patrolled area, the incident wasn't seen by lifeguards, people in the tower or even the surf lifesavers who doing some training on the beach near the Coffs Harbour clubhouse.

The incident first came to everybody's attention when a member of the public was spotted performing CPR on the 28 year-old.

Ambulance officers were immediately contacted about the emergency situation.

Mr Hackfath said after five to ten minutes of CPR on the man of Asian appearance it came to light that there was a second swimmer who was still in the water.

Two young lifesavers found the second man very quickly, using their training to paddle out into the rip and then move with the current.

Resuscitation efforts on both men continued at the scene.

The 30 year-old failed to be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 28-year-old man was taken to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital where he was pronounced deceased a short time later.

"It's an absolute tragedy but at the end of the day it's an unpatrolled section of the beach," Mr Hackfath said.

"There's signs everywhere there saying don't swim there.

"I know that's a harsh thing to say but what can you do?"

Police officers from the Coffs Clarence Local Area Command are already investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

The incident comes after a Coffs Harbour man was pulled from the water at Park Beach this morning shortly after midnight.

The 28-year-old man was rescued by friends after also becoming caught in a rip.

A NSW Ambulance spokesman said paramedics assessed the patient at the scene before transferring him to Coffs Harbour Health Campus in a stable condition.

His condition was described as having rapid heartbeat and suffering the effects of alcohol.

Topics:  coffs harbour drowning drowning death editors picks north wall nsw police park beach


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