Friends and family of a man swept into the water on Thursday called into question police methods after they were the ones to discover the man's body at the base of the breakwall.

The 20-year-old's disappearance sparked a massive air and sea operation, however it wasn't until family and friends began searching along the rocks at the southern breakwall that his body was discovered on Saturday morning.

Amina Ibrahim had travelled all the way up from Sydney and was one of a large group who had gathered on the banks of the harbour since Thursday evening.

Ms Ibrahim, who was a close friend of the man, questioned why the breakwall wasn't searched earlier by Police, saying the group were convinced from the outset that was where they should be looking.

The body of a 20-year-old man missing since Thursday was discovered by his family and friends at the bottom of Coffs Harbour's southern breakwall.
The body of a 20-year-old man missing since Thursday was discovered by his family and friends at the bottom of Coffs Harbour's southern breakwall.

"This is really disappointing for the police that we have found (him)," she said.

Chief Inspector Joanne Reid from Coffs/Clarence Police said the area around the rocks had been "earmarked as an area of interest" but like all searches access was dependent on conditions.

Insp. Reid said weather conditions had been "atrocious" from the outset, hampering the efforts of emergency services, in particular the wind and the swell.

Family were overcome with grief after the man’s body was found on Saturday.
Family were overcome with grief after the man’s body was found on Saturday.

"We have got to keep our first-responders and emergency services safe as well, the last thing we want to do is lose any more people in tragic circumstances like these," she said.

The swell was particularly large on Thursday evening when the man was washed off the breakwall path, and authorities confirmed yesterday that the gates to the breakwall had been shut since Tuesday.

Nargis Yaqubi.
Nargis Yaqubi.

The man's younger sister Nargis Yaqubi said it was "really shameful" it was the family that discovered the body.

"The police, they did not find my brother … it was two of our men, they went into the rocks and saw my brother's body."

"It is really shameful for the Police."



‘He lost a lot of blood’: Cop reveals harrowing ordeal

Premium Content ‘He lost a lot of blood’: Cop reveals harrowing ordeal

In the race to save a life, Jarrod French says every minute counts

BARGAIN: Snap up an abandoned bomb courtesy of Council

Premium Content BARGAIN: Snap up an abandoned bomb courtesy of Council

Find the perfect present for that special someone with some of the best abandoned...

Changes spell end of dolphin ‘abuse-ment’ parks: MP

Premium Content Changes spell end of dolphin ‘abuse-ment’ parks: MP

Animal welfare activists are hoping the government will now also support moves to...