Heroes died saving drowning kids
A FAMILY get-together at the beach turned on its head when three teenagers from Sydney's west got caught in a dangerous rip off NSW's mid-north coast yesterday.
Ghousudhin Mohammed, 45, jumped into the water to save his two daughters, aged 13 and 17, and his son, aged 15.
He was joined by another relative, Syed Rahath, 35, who also waded into the rough and unpatrolled water at Moonee Beach near Coffs Harbour for a rescue attempt that would claim both their lives. Their bodies were later discovered floating in the water.
Junaid Mohammed, 28, also attempted to help rescue the teens but disappeared and hopes are now fading for his welfare.
The search for Mr Mohammed resumed for a third day this morning with police and surf lifesaver helicopters and marine equipment being used.
Miraculously the three teenagers survived the dramatic incident.
Two of the teens were 300m from the shore when they were found by off-duty Coffs Harbour lifeguards, but one girl was more than 700m from the shore.
Junaid Mohammed's cousin, Shahbaz Mohammed, told The Daily Telegraph the family's combined grief and suspense was "too much to bear".
"We just came here together, we thought of having a good time together. Unfortunately we went to the beach," he said.
It's understood the group, made up of four families, was visiting the popular tourist town from Sydney's west.
Mr Shoaib, a relative, originally from the Indian city of Nalgonda, told Indian newspaper the Deccan Chronicle that the four families, two from Brisbane and two from Sydney, drove down to Moonee Beach and booked rooms to stay there for a get-together.
"They had been living in Australia for the past four years," he said. "My uncle, Ghousudhin, and Rahath, a distant relative, were in the software field (of work), and Junaid was pursuing his masters in pharmacy there.
"On Monday at around 6pm, while the women chose to stay indoors, Ghousudhin, his three kids, and Rahath and Junaid went to the beach."
Police praised the "outrageously brave" locals involved in the initial search with one lifesaver going 700m from the beach to rescue one of the teenagers.
Coffs Harbour City Council lifeguard co-ordinator Greg Hackfath told Nine News Moonee Beach is unpatrolled and Moonee Creek which feeds into the beach has a "strong flowing outgoing tide".
"We had a significant amount of rain the day before yesterday overnight and coupled with an outgoing tide and a lot of rain with flood waters, the creek was roaring," he said.
"I can only assume they have gone swimming in the creek and perhaps the three teenagers went in first and got into trouble and then the three adults have gone in, and then, unfortunately, it's been a horrific result."
The Beach Safe website states that the 4.6km stretch is not patrolled by lifeguards.
"It faces east-southeast and is one of the more exposed and hazardous, with waves averaging over 1.5m," the website reads.
An investigation has been launched and a report will be prepared for the coroner.