A CHILD has gone missing in large and powerful surf conditions south of Watonga Rocks at Lighthouse Beach.
An emergency services alert was issued just after 1.30pm on Wednesday, December 6 with Marine Rescue Port Macquarie, lifeguards, emergency services crews and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter responding.
The missing child is an 11-year-old boy and is believed to have been pulled out in a rip while swimming in shallow water with his family, a NSW Police Media spokesperson confirmed. He has not been seen since.
A second child, aged 17, was also caught in the rip but managed to get himself to shore independently, police said. He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics.
NSW Ambulance Acting Superintendent David Horseman said the family is being supported on the beach.
“Every effort is being made to locate the missing young swimmer, we are all working together on scene,” Acting Supt Horseman said.
“We have ambulance crews on scene, the NSW Ambulance and Westpac Helicopter plus Marine Rescue are doing their very best to locate the missing child.”
“The 17-year-old is now on the beach with his parents and we are all hoping we can find this young fellow.”
The rescue efforts are being led by NSW Police.
Head lifeguard James Turnham said a drone will be used to assist with the search.
Surf Life Saving NSW issued a statement saying conditions along the coast have been incredibly challenging.
“This is an extremely difficult operation and our thoughts are with everyone involved,” said SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce.
“We will continue to support the police and other agencies with whatever surf lifesaving assets are required.
“In the meantime we urge people to take care along the coast. We are imploring people to swim only at patrolled locations, in between the red and yellow flags this summer,” he said.
The family remains with emergency services while the search continues.
Beaches remain closed. The search will continue on Thursday.