Dramatic missing persons search has happy ending

Marine Rescue volunteers search waters off Nambucca Heads for two paddle boarders thought to be missing.

A DRAMATIC two-day search for ‘paddle boarders’ thought to be missing at sea off Nambucca Heads concluded on Tuesday morning, with emergency services crews standing down after the two men were identified safe and well.

At about 6:30pm on Monday 5 February 2024, emergency services were called to Wellington Drive, Nambucca Heads, following reports that two paddle boarders were missing.

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A land and water-based search of the area was subsequently undertaken.

From 7:30pm, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, utilising night vision goggles, searched the area from above, supporting the work of officers from NSW Police Marine Area Command.

Marine Rescue NSW vessels Coffs Harbour 30 and Trial Bay 30 were also deployed and searched waters off Nambucca Heads until 10pm, when they were stood down for the night.

No persons were located.

The Marine Rescue vessels resumed the search on Tuesday morning, before deteriorating sea conditions led the crews to be stood down at 10:15am.

“Conditions were challenging for our volunteer crews with 25 knot winds combined with a one and a half metre swell,” Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Steve Raymond said.

“Coffs Harbour 30 and Trial Bay 30 resumed the search at 8:00am after spending a few hours searching last night.

“They were supported on-water this morning by rescue watercraft TB 11 and TB 12 and conducted a parallel line search from Nambucca Heads to South West Rocks.”

Thankfully, police then spoke with two men matching the description of the missing persons at Nambucca Heads.

The pair confirmed with police that they had been in the water at that time, before returning home safely.

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