Irish surfer goes missing in Australia

An Irish surfer has gone missing in waters off Byron Bay in Australia.

The man disappeared while out surfing with two friends yesterday.

The 19-year-old man was surfing off Tallow Beach in Byron Bay with two friends yesterday when they got into difficulty.

It is understood that the two friends, aged 26 and 20, were rescued by volunteers and sustained minor injuries.

Byron Bay police, a Westpac Helicopter and members of the Volunteer Rescue Association launched an extensive land and sea search in an attempt to find the missing Irishman.

That operation had to be called off in the afternoon - local time - due to rough conditions.

It is now night time in Byron Bay, however local Sgt Darren McCoy has said his team will carry out a patrol of the beach this evening in search of any trace of the missing 19-year-old.

There had been several weather warnings issued over the past few days as surfing conditions at Tallow Beach were said to be treacherous.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is in contact with the young man's family.

Police in Australia believe he was a tourist, but it is not yet know where in Ireland he came from.

The land and sea search operation is due to resume tomorrow morning - subject to weather conditions.

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