The chances of finding an 11-year-old boy who was swept out to sea off at Port Macquarie on Wednesday are “minimal to non-existent”, according to police.
The boy, who travelled to the New South Wales mid-north coast with family from Canberra, was in the water off Lighthouse Beach when he was caught in a rip alongside his 17-year-old brother, who managed to get to shore.
NSW Police Detective Inspector Guy Flaherty said there was little chance the boy would be found alive.
“We are moving into a recovery phase and we do have grave concerns of finding this 11-year-old alive,” he said.
“We will continue to search the area with specialist advice from the marine area command who are the marine search coordinators.”
Helicopters, jet skis and divers are being used in the search.
Police divers also released coloured dye into the water in an attempt to track the current’s direction and the likely area where he may have been swept.
The divers are also checking rocks in case the boy had been snagged. The search will continue until dusk and resume tomorrow.