By Siobhan Fogarty and Riley Staurt
The mother of a missing 14-year-old boy collapsed on the sand this morning as the search continued for her son at Maroubra Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Emergency crews were called to the beach just after 8:30pm on Tuesday after reports two teenagers were in trouble in the water.
The mother wept on the shore today as the search entered its second day and authorities scoured the southern end of the beach. She was taken from the beach in an ambulance.
Several drownings have marred the festive season in New South Wales, with six men and one young girl all dying in surf, rivers or backyard pools.
Police inspector Chris Whalley said the missing boy had been swimming with his cousin, who was pulled from the surf by a 26-year-old passer-by.
“Clearly the efforts of the passer-by are outstanding,” Mr Whalley said.
“To take the initiative and to enter the surf to try and rescue someone is [a] fantastic thing to do and something that’s extremely admirable.”
Matthew Evans, from Surf Life Saving Sydney, said the search for the boy was centring around the southern end of the beach.
“The conditions today at South Maroubra, there is 3-4 foot swell running, a couple of rips down the southern end of the beach at the moment, so it is making it a bit difficult condition-wise,” he said.
“It’s probably not advisable to enter the water at that southern end of the beach today given the likelihood it is not good swimming conditions at the moment.”
Police said a surf and rescue operation was launched on Tuesday night before it was called off due to poor visibility and surf conditions.
The rescue operation for the missing boy is under way again this morning with the help of the Marine Area Command, paramedics and surf lifesavers.
Emergency services are warning people to use caution around water, swim between the flags and avoid taking risks.
Drowning horrors mar festive period.
A man was found unresponsive in the swimming baths on Ocean Parade at The Entrance, just after 3:00pm on Tuesday.
Boxing Day was a particularly bad day in the state’s waters.
A 25-year-old man went missing while swimming with friends in the Nepean River, within the Bents Basin Conservation Area, on December 26 and was found dead the following morning.
Also on Boxing Day, a 60-year-old Grafton man drowned after trying to help his four nieces who had been caught in a rip at Wooli Beach north of Coffs Harbour.
Later that day, police divers found the body of a 27-year-old man who disappeared while swimming in the Kangaroo River in the Shoalhaven region.
Also in Shoalhaven, a 56-year-old Kensington man was found unconscious in the surf at Merry Beach at Kiola about 6.30pm. He could not be revived.
On Christmas Day, a 27-year-old man drowned at Wattamolla Lagoon in Royal National Park near Sutherland.
A toddler also died in hospital on Boxing Day, nearly a week after she and her twin brother were found unconscious in a pool in Sydney’s north-west.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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