DROWNING: 'Next minute he's face down in the water'
UPDATE: Australian Lifeguard Service has confirmed the man and his son were on bodyboards at the southern end of the beach when the man became distressed after getting caught in a rip current.
It is not known how he got into difficulty or if a medical condition played a role in the emergency.
The man was pulled unconscious from the water by a lifeguard from the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) with the assistance of a member of the public who was an off-duty police officer.
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12.30PM: It is has been confirmed the man who drowned at Main Beach Yamba at 9.30am this morning was a 57-year-old from Brisbane.
Clarence Valley Life Guard supervisor Greg Wylie said it was understood the man was in the surf with his son at the time.
"It's a sad day today," Mr Wylie said.
"One minute he could see his dad, and the next minute he's face down in the water."
Mr Wylie said that despite this morning's tragedy, Main Beach Yamba was still safe to swim at today.
More details as they come to hand.
UPDATE: Witnesses who watched the scene unfold said they were shaken from seeing the ordeal. One witness said they watched emergency services try to resuscitate the man "for quite some time" before he was later taken away.
Police are continuing their inquiries into how the man drowned.
ORIGINAL STORY, 11AM: TRAGEDY struck on Yamba's Main Beach this morning as a man reportedly died from what police said was an apparent drowning.
Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Jo Reid said that emergency services were called to the beach around 9.30am to reports of a man struggling in the surf.
Paramedics were first on scene and monitored the situation, and a man believed to be in his 50s has reportedly died on scene.
Police and other emergency services are establishing the circumstances around the death and have urged anyone who was on or near the beach at the time to come forward and assist with investigations.