Bondi Beach. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP
Bondi Beach. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP

Man found face down in water at Bondi

A MAN has been found floating face down in the water at Sydney's Bondi Beach and rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

Emergency crews were called to the beach following reports a man in his 40s appeared to have drowned about 11.45am.

Three NSW Ambulance crews and a support helicopter attended the scene and treated the man who has since been transported to St Vincents Hospital in a critical condition.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said it was understood the man had been rock fishing before he was swept into the water and went into cardiac arrest.

The man was not believed to have been wearing a lifejacket, she said.

NSW Police Marine Area Command divers tried to retrieve the man's personal belongings, which were also swept into sea.

"Police believe the man was rock fishing and wasn't wearing a life jacket before he was removed from the waters," a police spokesman said.

The incident comes after two men, Ghouseuddin Mohammed, 45, and Syed Rahath, 35, drowned at a "treacherous" NSW beach. A third man - Junaid Mohd Abdul, 28, has not yet been found - was swept out to sea off Moonee Beach north of Coffs Harbour, on Monday evening.

At the same time two girls, aged 15 and 17, and a 15-year-old boy were rescued and taken to hospital for observation.

They were all from the same family in western Sydney, NSW Police said. An initial search for Mr Abdul was called off late on Monday due to fading light and deteriorating surf conditions. It resumed the following day but has since been suspended.

Junaid Mohammed Abdul is still missing from Moonee Beach. Picture: Supplied
Junaid Mohammed Abdul is still missing from Moonee Beach. Picture: Supplied

Emergency services were pictured helping the surviving family members from the beach as they collapse, grief-stricken, in each others' arms. A family friend said the group had just arrived in the sleepy holiday town for a "good time together".

"It's too much to bear," he told Seven Network on Tuesday as the search continued.

Mr Abdul's family at home in India are reportedly in shock. Police praised the "outrageously brave" locals involved in the initial search with one lifesaver swimming 700 metres to rescue one of the teenagers.

"It absolutely brave, they've put themselves at risk," Inspector Brendan Gorman told ABC News.

"In those conditions and at that time I don't know how else you describe it other than it's outrageously brave."

Surf Life Saving NSW North Coast duty officer Les Pepper said the search had moved to the back beach of the unpatrolled Moonee Beach.

"It is a treacherous stretch of beach, not safe at all," Mr Pepper told the ABC. "Some of the beaches are really nice, they look really nice, but are a bit treacherous.

"At Moonee, it is a river mouth, the creek comes out from there and the rip forms from there and takes you straight out, and people just don't understand what rips are."

He urged people to only swim at patrolled beaches with many now staffed seven days a week over Christmas.

Lifeguard Greg Hackfath broke down telling reporters about the tragic event.

"They're never easy," Mr Hackfath said.