‘Missing’ man napping at home while search was underway
A MAN who was feared drowned after he was reported missing off a Coffs Coast beach was found to be sleeping on his couch at home while the extensive air and water search was underway.
NSW Police have confirmed the man had been unaware a search - which involved police, local lifeguards, Surf Life Saving, SES, NSW Ambulance and a Westpac Rescue Helicopter - was being conducted until a friend had notified him.
He returned to the beach around 6.30pm upon hearing the news and spoke to police.
The man was initially reported missing at around 2.45pm.
Police were told the man, a woman and their dog were walking along Sapphire Beach when a 'rogue' wave struck them, and swept the dog out to sea.
According to the report the man had entered to water to save the dog, and wasn't seen again.
The dog was also found safe and well.
NSW Police have said the incident is not being treated as a false police report.
Coffs Harbour Lifeguards have taken to social media to thank all those involved in the search.
"Good to see that the person was found safe and well."