Man, 53, dies at Diggers Beach

By CRAIG McTEAR

AN experienced surfer died at Diggers Beach yesterday morning.

Police were not releasing the 53-year-old Coffs Harbour man's name late yesterday because they were still trying to contact relatives.

However, they did confirm he had been a Diggers Beach regular.

A police media spokeswoman said the man entered big surf at the southern end of the beach at 6.40am and caught a wave in.

He then had a brief conversation with a mate, who then saw the 53-year-old walk to the southern end of the beach and re-enter the water. The friend left the beach to go to the carpark to get his board.

When the friend returned, he was unable to see the man.

Later, a man and a woman walking on the beach saw a man floating under his surfboard in knee-deep water.

They ran into the surf and pulled him out. Two men nearby on the beach started CPR, but they could not revive him.

The police spokeswoman said waves yesterday morning were 'quite large and powerful', and conditions were described as 'heavy'.

Retired Coffs Harbour car dealer, Mike Blewitt, arrived at the beach at 7.45am yesterday for his regular morning stroll and saw police gathered on the sand.

"It was about 50 metres south of the northern carpark area. There were about four or five of them in the sand dunes, and they were interviewing a young lady." Mr Blewitt said.

"Then I saw a sheet over a body, with a surfboard beside it."

A post mortem examination is expected in coming days, and police are preparing a report for the coroner.



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