Student missing off City Beach in Wollongong

By Michelle Hoctor
Updated November 5 2012 - 9:10am, first published April 1 2009 - 11:04am
The student went missing off City Beach at 2am. Picture: HAN VAN STUIVENBERG

A massive search-and-rescue operation has been launched after a Saudi Arabian student went missing during a late-night swim at City Beach in Wollongong.The University of Wollongong student was on a night out with friends to celebrate his 25th birthday when he and two others went for a swim at 2am today.Wollongong Police Inspector Mark Lavers said the friends entered the surf just south of the City Beach Function Centre and became caught in a rip.

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  • March: Liberian refugee missing off City Beach Two managed to return to shore, however the 25-year-old was dragged south by the current."The missing person was hit by a couple of heavy waves,'' Insp Lavers said.His friends last saw him 30m offshore, opposite the WIN Entertainment Centre.Last month a 19-year-old Liberian refugee, Patrick Koffa, vanished at the same beach while swimming with friends at night.He was caught in a rip after entering the water about 9pm on March 8. His body was retrieved from the water a week later about 300m from where he was last seen.Today's search resumed at 7am, although the continued rough conditions have complicated the search and delayed the arrival of the PolAir helicopter.Insp Lavers said a police motorbike would be brought in to scour the beaches while PolAir and the Water Police would search the ocean."We are hoping the weather will clear because visibility is a bit ordinary because of the swell,'' Insp Lavers said.The 25-year-old has been in Australia for six months and lives at the University of Wollongong's International House.A group of about eight friends were keeping a vigil at the beach this morning.