The mother of a 14-year-old boy who went missing in rough surf has collapsed in heartbreaking scenes at Sydney's Maroubra beach.
The boy has been missing since Tuesday night, after he got into trouble in the water while swimming with a friend at the southern end of the beach.
A 26-year-old man who was passing by jumped in and brought one of the boys to shore, but he couldn't find the other when he returned to the water.
A search and rescue operation is underway.
"He was with a cousin who was pulled from the surf by a man who was just a passer-by, rescued his cousin, and that young man returned to the sea to try to find the now missing young man and was unable to do so," NSW Police Inspector Chris Whalley.
"Clearly the efforts of the passer-by are outstanding.
"To take the initiative and to enter the surf to try to rescue someone is a fantastic thing to do and something that is extremely admirable."
ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA