The two men, aged 24 and 25, were swimming with friends
at Belongil Beach, Byron Bay, when they got into difficulty on
Sunday noon, Australian news agency APP reported on Tuesday.
Police said the men, who were not identified, were
underwater for up to 10 minutes before they were taken ashore,
where rescuers and paramedics tried in vain to revive them.
The men got caught in a rip and people on the beach
raised the alarm. Lifesavers plunged into the water and found
them on the ocean floor just beyond the surf break.
They were taken to Byron Bay Hospital but were declared
dead on arrival.
A third man who also got into difficulty at the beach was
saved. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Byron Bay detectives were investigating and will prepare
a report for the coroner.
It is thought the men were swimming outside the flagged
area and in an unpatrolled part of the beach, the APP said.
Surf Life Saving duty officer Jimmy Keough said the
accident highlighted the dangers of swimming at unpatrolled
areas of a beach.
"A short walk to the patrolled area would have certainly
prevented this tragic loss of life," Keough said.
Melbourne: Two Indians drowned at a northern
New South Wales beach in Australia while swimming with a group
First Published: Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 11:02