Less than 48 hours after a young man drowned on the Central Coast, another man has lost his life, at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach.

A man was swimming with his 16-year old son around 11.30am today when they both got into difficulty.

Surf Life Saving NSW said they were swimming about 200 metres south of a patrolled area when they became caught in a rip current.

Surf lifesavers on patrol from Ballina Lighthouse & Lismore SLSC responded with rescue boat and boards and were able to bring the teenage son back to shore.

The missing man was found 20 minutes later near the wall to the Richmond River entrance. Lifesavers and Ambulance personnel conducted CPR, however he was pronounced deceased.

It was the second death on Far North Coast beaches today. Shortly after 1pm today a man in his seventies collapsed while swimming at Yamba beach.

Lifeguards on duty responded but attempts to revive the man were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead. “It is understood the patient had a history of previous cardiac issues,” a Surf Life Saving NSW spokesperson said.

Surf Life Saving NSW Manager of Lifesaving, Dean Storey, said: “Prevention is the key and learning to spot a rip current should be on everyone’s holiday job list.

“If you do find yourself caught in one, don’t panic, stick your arm in the air and float until help arrives. If you’re a strong swimmer, you can try swimming parallel to the beach until you’re clear of the current.

“Swimming between the red and yellow flags is our number one surf safety message this holiday season.”

Surf Life Saving has launched a major education campaign on rip currents. Go to www.ripcurrents.com.au for more information.