THe Northern Star

Man drowns in rips at Fingal

A MAN drowned at the northern end of Fingal beach yesterday, just a short distance from patrolled beaches.

There were sustained efforts by onlookers to save his life, then lifesavers and paramedics, but the man was dragged from the water unconscious without a pulse.

He was pronounced dead at 5pm after being airlifted to the Tweed Heads Hospital by Lismore's Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter.

The section of beach, between the Tweed River mouth's southern wall and the sand pumping jetty, was a maelstrom of swirling rips and white water as paramedics worked on the beach to save the man's life.

It is believed the man had been drinking before going for a swim.

His friends watched quietly on the sand, clearly stunned by what had unfolded.

One had raced along the break wall then jumped into the water off the rocks in an effort to save the man, but just got smashed back up against them and was forced to climb out.

He was covered in blood and scratches.

“The rip was really hard, really really tough,” the friend said.

Police are investigating.

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