Police have confirmed a 46-year-old British man has drowned after attempting to save two young boys from a rip on the northern entrance of Burrill Lake at Dolphin Point Friday.
Police and ambulance personnel attended the scene at about 12.30pm after the man was pulled from the water by onlookers.
Two other men had seen the children in distress and brought them to safety when they noticed their friend was missing, returning to the water they found the man who was rushed to hospital.
Surf Lifesaving South Coast branch director Glenn Matthews said this is a reminder to all swimmers to remember beach safety.
“This is a sad end. The message here is to please swim between the flags of patrolled beaches and learn to identify rips and currents and how to escape one,” he said.
While en-route to the scene the NSW Ambulance Rescue Helicopter from Albion Park almost became part of its own emergency.
The crew of Rescue 23 had to make an emergency landing on its way to the incident at Burrill Lake.
A warning light came on in cockpit of the helicopter while over Callala Bay.
The crew of four diverted to HMAS Albatross as a precautionary measure where they made a safe landing.
The aircraft was inspected by aircraft engineers.
A second helicopter was tasked from Sydney to undertake the medical emergency but was called off.