Large-scale search underway for English tourist, 31, who went missing while swimming at a Sydney beach on the last day before he was due to fly home

  • English tourist went missing while swimming at a northern Sydney1 beach
  • He had been fishing earlier in the day with a friend at South Curl Curl beach
  • Friend raised at the alarm at around 7pm when the man, 31, did not return
  • Helicopters swept area last night and large-scale search underway today

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A 31-year-old English tourist is missing after going for an evening swim at an Australian beach on the last day before he was due to fly back home. The man, who had only been in the country for a week, had been celebrating and fishing with friends at South Curl Curl beach, northern Sydney, yesterday before he decided to go for a dip. His friends say they lost sight of the man, thought to be from Manchester, when he was about 100m from shore and raised the alarm at 7pm, telling police he wasn’t a strong swimmer.

They waited in the surf club overnight as local police, Polair, Water Police, Surf Rescue NSW and the Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter searched for the man but found no sign of him.

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A large-scale search is underway after a 31-year-old English tourist went missing while swimming at South Curl Curl beach, pictured are police searching the area

Police helicopters and volunteers from Surf Life Saving NSW searched the dunes on Saturday night to see if they could find the tourist

Surf life savers have been battling rough conditions at Curl Curl today – but there has been no sign of the 31-year-old man. Northern Beaches Inspector Sue Preston said police had not given up hope that the man could be found alive. Detectives are also investigating the possibility the man got out of the water last night and may have walked into town.

‘It may well be that he has gotten out of the water at some point,’ Inspector Preston said.

Surf Life Saving NSW spokeswoman Donna Wishart said the beach was one of the more hazardous in Sydney as there was a strong rip that could catch people off guard.

‘If they don’t know the beach and the conditions, because it looks fairly benign you get in the water and it can take you into deep water fairly quickly,’ Ms Wishart said. The man is described as being of Caucasian appearance, slim build, about 175cm tall and with short ginger-coloured hair and a short beard, pictured is police at the scene

Boats and jetskis were launched this morning and patrols are expected to continue throughout the rest of the day

Concerned residents made their way down to the south end of the beach last night to help locate the man

She described the beach as ‘hazardous’, but said yesterday evening’s conditions were not particularly rough. North and South Curl Curl beaches were closed as police divers joined the operation in choppy seas.

Concerned residents have also made their way down to the south end of the beach to help locate the man. Surf Life Saving NSW spokesman Keiran Menzies said there had been no sightings of the man or any of his belongings in the surf. He said it was hard to say how the man would have fared in the water overnight.

‘It’s all dependent on the conditions on the day and their competency as a swimmer,’ he told AAP.

Surf lifesaver and state duty officer Darren Jameson tweeted saying: ‘SAR (search and rescue) has recommenced for missing swimmer @Sth Curl Curl from last night with @slssnb @Lifesaverhelo assets assisting @nswpolice.’

The man is described as being of Caucasian appearance, slim build, about 175cm tall and with short ginger-coloured hair and a short beard. He was last seen wearing board shorts. Anyone with information should contact Northern Beaches Police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The man went for a swim at South Curl Curl beach around 7pm yesterday after fishing nearby with a friend, who raised the alarm when he did not return

References

  1. ^ Sydney (www.dailymail.co.uk)

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