A young boy watched on helplessly as his father drowned off the coast of a NSW Central Coast beach on Saturday.
The man in his 30s was swimming with his eight-year-old son at Ettalong Beach, about 50 meters offshore, when the pair got into trouble.
Beachgoers were able to help the boy from the water, but sadly the man was unable to be revived, with Maritime Services and paramedics attempting CPR.
Witnesses said they originally thought it was a different type of emergency when they started hearing the screams out in the surf.
“They were screaming at us from the water … I’m thinking there’s a shark in the water,” one said.
The father’s death marks a solemn 10 days for The Central Coast region, with another man drowning at Umina Beach on Christmas Day.
Surf Lifesaving NSW have confirmed a total of nine deaths along the coast this summer alone.
CEO Steve Pearce said the incident was “devastating news” for the man’s family and the community at large following the two recent deaths.
“They need time to reflect on these events and grieve the loss of loved ones. We ask the media to give them privacy during this tragic time.”