A 26-year-old woman has died as she tried to help a nine-year-old boy at Fingal Head after 5pm on Saturday.
The woman, believed to be a relative of the boy, experienced difficulty assisting him after he was swept from the rocks near Fingal Head Lighthouse.
Two male bystanders swam out when the woman was seen floating unconscious soon after and assisted until a Surf Life Saving Boat was able to retrieve them from the water.
Off-duty surf lifesavers performed CPR until paramedics arrived to take the woman to Tweed Heads Hospital in a critical condition, where she later died.
The boy was uninjured but also attended hospital for examination.