Man's body found at Wollongong beach

By Michelle Hoctor
Updated November 5 2012 - 9:05am, first published March 14 2009 - 11:42pm
Patrick Koffa
Man's body found at Wollongong beach

The body of a man found at Wollongong's City Beach on Saturday is believed to be that of missing Liberian refugee Patrick Koffa.Mr Koffa, 19, disappeared during a night-time swim at the beach on Sunday, March 8.A massive search for his body, involving 100 police, SES, lifeguards, PolAir and the Bendigo Bank Aerial Patrol, was called off on Thursday.A member of the public contacted police about 3.40pm on Saturday after a body was retrieved from the water, about 300m from where the man was last seen.While the man has not been formally identified, police are investigating the possibility it is that of Mr Koffa, of Fairfield.Mr Koffa's family has been advised of the discovery.His cousin Augustina Teah, 30, said on Thursday her family hoped his body would be returned so he could be given a full burial."We are a Christian family. Patrick went to the Lighthouse Church at Fairfield on Sunday, before he came here. He loves the church," she said."We want to bury him. We can't lose hope that we will find the body, that we will see him again."Mr Koffa's family escaped Liberia in 1996 following a civil war during which his parents disappeared. He spent time at a refugee camp in Ghana before being taken in by his aunt and uncle in Australia.A report will be prepared for the NSW Coroner.