An IRB is searching the waters at Valla Beach for a missing swimmer.
An IRB is searching the waters at Valla Beach for a missing swimmer. Bruce Thomas/Coffs Coast Advocat

Swimmer missing at Valla while others rescued along Coast

8.00PM: POLICE will resume the search for a missing swimmer at Valla Beach early tomorrow.

At about 5.45pm today, police and emergency services were called following reports a man had been swept out to sea.

It's believed a group of people had been swimming, when a 22-year-old man became caught in a rip.

Due to the conditions and fading light, the search has had to be postponed and will start again at 6am.

Emergency services have been conducting a full scale search for a swimmer who went missing after being caught in a rip at Valla Beach at about 5.45pm this afternoon. Photo: Frank Redward
Emergency services have been conducting a full scale search for a swimmer who went missing after being caught in a rip at Valla Beach at about 5.45pm this afternoon. Photo: Frank Redward Frank Redward

7.45PM: The missing swimmer is a 22 year-old male from the Brisbane area who was visiting the region with a large group of friends.

The group of more than 20 had spent the day at Raleigh Raceway and decided to head to Valla Beach to cool off after such a hot day.

It's believed the majority of the group found trouble in the rip. All but one was able to make it back to shore.

7.00PM: A SEARCH is underway for a male swimmer missing at Valla Beach.

An IRB is combing the water for the swimmer and a Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has arrived to assist with the search from the air.

Ambulance crews have set up a command post on the shore.

It's believed the swimmer was caught in a rip in the hazardous sea conditions and was dragged away from the shore.

During the course of the day the Westpac Rescue Helicopter has been called to five separate water related missions on the north coast.

The first four callouts have fortunately resulted in the rescue helicopter's services not being required to assist.

An online statement from the WHRS said that the high number of water related missions could be contributed to the hazardous sea conditions we're experiencing on the northern coastline at the present time.

More details to come.

5.00PM: THREE swimmers have been rescued by members of the public after being caught in a rip.

One of the swimmers is assisted back along the rocks to Diggers Beach after being caught in a rip. Photo: Frank Redward
One of the swimmers is assisted back along the rocks to Diggers Beach after being caught in a rip. Photo: Frank Redward Frank Redward

EARLIER - 4.15PM: A PAIR of young girls are alive thanks to an elderly man who helped rescue them at Diggers Beach.

Shortly after 3pm, it's understood the pair of girls were caught in a rip in the large swell toward the south end of the beach and unable to return to shore.

Drifting toward the rocks where the heroic elderly man was standing, he managed to bring both girls to the rocks as the alarm was raised for ambulance officers to attend.

Both girls had taken on plenty of sea water and were distressed.

One was able to walk along the rocks to the beach but the 15 year-old, suffering the effects of the near tragedy, required about 30 minutes to be stabilised.

A SES crew was on the scene offering assistance to get the 15 year-old from the rocks to the beach where paramedics  were waiting to offer assistance.

The girl insisted on walking back to the beach and once she reached it, ambulance officers placed her in the back of their vehicle and was taken to hospital.

Paramedics were full of praise for the hero of the hour who humbly left the scene without wanting any attention.

Diggers Beach was the was the scene of a death in December when a mother collapsed on the sand after rescuing a young family member who had also been caught in a rip.



How beers around the campfire led to this very cool business

premium_icon How beers around the campfire led to this very cool business

They left their council and construction jobs to follow a dream

'This will be huge': New show like a theme park ride

premium_icon 'This will be huge': New show like a theme park ride

"You'll come out saying, 'what did I just see?'”

Funding to save 300-year-old pine trees

premium_icon Funding to save 300-year-old pine trees

MP says coastal cypress pines need to be preserved

Local Partners