Water police and rescue crews are braving dangerous surf conditions as they search for an 11-year-old boy who was dragged out to sea on the NSW mid-north coast.
The boy, who was visiting the region from the ACT, was walking with his 17-year- old brother in shallow water at an unpatrolled part of Lighthouse Beach at Port Macquarie when he was caught by a rip about 1.30pm on Wednesday.
Their mother witnessed her 11-year-old son, who was waist-deep in water, being sucked into the surf, while the older brother tried to rescue him, NSW Ambulance Superintendent David Horseman said on Thursday.
"He (the big brother) really did try and do a great job there, unfortunately, he wasn't able to do anything further," Supt Horseman told the Seven Network.
"He got exhausted from the experience as well and was treated by paramedics at the scene."
Ambulance crews, Marine Rescue vessels including a jetski and a Surf Life Saving drone scoured the area but were forced to abandon the search at nightfall on Wednesday.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Police Marine Area Command resumed searching on Thursday with six inflatable dinghy-style boats and seven jetskis in the water.
Officers are also maintaining a presence on the beach and divers are entering the water, images posted on social media by NSW Police show.
Despite the rough swell, Surf Life Saving NSW said conditions on Thursday had improved from Wednesday which was messy and hazardous.
"Surf is reasonably large today, but it's not as choppy, so it's going to make it easier for the rescue crews to continue to search," Surf Life Saving NSW spokeswoman Donna Wishart said.
Around 20 surf lifesavers and lifeguards are also involved in the search effort which involves three local surf life-saving clubs.
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