Swimmer missing in wild surf off Turrimetta in Sydney’s northern beaches

Kate Aubusson
Published: February 18, 2016 – 4:49PM

Emergency services hold grave fears for a man missing in dangerous surf off Sydney’s northern beaches.

A full scale search and rescue effort was underway as rescue helicopters, lifeguards and police scour the waters off Turimetta Beach near Warriewood Blowhole after witnesses reported seeing a swimmer in trouble at roughly 2pm.

The man was reportedly floating unconscious in the water off Turimetta, also known as Little Narrabeen beach.

The State Operations Centre was told that members of the public tried to rescue the man but were unable to reach him in the strong surf.

“A number of witnesses have reported that a male swimmer was seen to be floating on the surface of the surf and was seen to be hit by a dumping wave and hasn’t resurfaced,” Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter chief executive Stephen Leahy told AAP.

“Sadly, there’s no sign of that person now and every indication is, sadly, that this person is still missing.

“So, a very large search is underway considering that he’s only been missing a short time,” Mr Leahy said.

Lifesavers released sea marking dye into the turbulent surf to track the speed and current of ocean currents that could have carried the swimmers out to sea.

Mr Leahy said a NSW Ambulance helicopter, Pittwater Council lifeguards, police and ambulance officers were at the scene on Thursday.

By 4.40pm Lifesavers had been stood down from the search, a Seven News reporter Tweeted.

Hopefully the person is found soon and the responder knows any first aid procedures that might be helpful.

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