A 29-year-old woman has drowned and a search is underway for a man who is feared dead in waters off Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Police said the man and woman, who are known to each other, were seen entering the ocean at the northern end of Broadbeach about 9.20pm on Thursday.
The woman was found by a member of the public unconscious in the surf about an hour later.
Attempts were made to revive her but she died at the scene.
Police immediately launched a helicopter search for the man, who police say is a 31-year-old British national.
Male clothes were found left on the beach.
Acting inspector John Diggle said police did not expect to find anyone alive.
“We are conducting a recovery mission,” he said.
The aerial search resumed on Friday morning and police are also scouring the beach.
Anyone who may have information are being asked to contact authorities.
A report will be prepared for the coroner in relation to the woman.
The incident came after a 21-year-old Victorian man drowned at a nearby canal in Broadbeach in January.
Surf conditions ‘extremely dangerous’
A hazardous surf warning is current for Queensland’s south-east coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast swell as high as 2.5 metres along the Gold and Sunshine coasts and Fraser Island.
Meteorologist Pieter Claassen said the conditions were likely to continue across the weekend.
“It’s important if you are out on the beach or out on the water to have a look at our warnings and make sure you’re up to date with the latest conditions as well,” he said.
“Those conditions should last from early Friday through to the weekend.”
Acting Superintendent Scott Knowles said at least half a dozen police, including water police, were involved in the large-scale search. More were expected to join later on Friday.
“We had Rescue 500 with their infrared cameras plus their search light. We also had a number of other police on Rhinos [small all-terrain vehicles] patrolling the beaches to see if this male actually came back to the beach,” he said.
“We’ll continue the search this morning whilst we try to identify the next of kin for the female in Victoria.”
Police have contacted the British embassy in relation to the man’s identity.
Acting Superintendent Knowles urged the community to contact police if they see signs of the man on Friday.
“If people are walking along the beaches or along the foreshore this morning, just be aware we are looking for a male, possibly a deceased male,” he said.
Acting Superintendent Knowles said the surf conditions were extremely dangerous.
“The conditions last night were not conducive for safe swimming. There was a heavy sweep across the beach. So swimming, especially in the dark … was extremely dangerous,” he said.