A 45-year-old man from Lennox Head has drowned while attempting to save his daughter when she was swept out in the surf on the New South Wales far north coast.
NSW Police said the man was in shallow water with his wife and their three children at Seven Mile Beach in Lennox Head yesterday evening.
The couple's 11-year-old daughter was swept out to sea on her bodyboard, NSW Police said, and the man swam out to help her but neither of them could manage to get back to shore.
The man's wife then swam out and was able to get their daughter back to the beach and alert authorities that her husband was still in the water.
Two police officers entered the surf just after 6:00pm to find the man but were unsuccessful.
The beach was not being patrolled by lifeguards when the incident occurred but Jimmy Keogh from Surf Life Saving NSW said young lifesavers training nearby retrieved the man.
"They managed to recover the 45-year-old that was submerged in the water and bring him to shore," he said.
"Unfortunately, the male wasn't able to be revived."
NSW Ambulance paramedics performed CPR on the man but were unable to revive him and he died at the scene.
The woman and her daughter were treated by paramedics and allowed to go home.
A report will be prepared for the Coroner.
Third drowning during parent-child rescue
Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steve Pearce said it was the 10th coastal drowning in the state so far this summer, and the third involving a parent going to the aid of their child.
"It's completely understandable that, as parents, we would go to the aid of our kids in trouble without question," he said.
"Sadly though, it so often ends in tragedies like this."
Mr Pearce said there had been 1,760 rescues carried out by volunteer lifesavers and the Australian Lifeguard Service since December 1.
"The huge number of rescues our volunteers have performed in just the last few weeks demonstrates that even good swimmers can get into trouble very quickly in the surf," he said.
"Our message all summer has been that if you're visiting the coastline, swim at a patrolled location between the red and yellow flags."
Mr Pearce said Seven Mile Beach was patrolled by the Australian Lifeguard Service until 6:00pm at this time of year.