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Hope fading for men missing off NSW beach

Sun June 17, 2012 8:31pm

LIFESAVERS are refusing to give up hope of finding two men feared drowned on the New South Wales Central Coast, saying it's possible they've been washed up to safety in nearby caves.

The search for the two men, aged 18 and 20, will resume early tomorrow morning off Ghosties Beach, where the body of an 18-year-old Edgeworth woman was found this morning.

It's believed the trio had been fishing and surfing in the Flat Rock area before the woman's body was discovered just before 9.30am (AEST).

Volunteer surf lifesaving teams and a rescue helicopter have been scouring the area since fishing equipment and other items believed to belong to the group were found on a rock ledge at nearby Moonee Beach by a member of the public about 6.30am.

The search for the 18-year-old Gateshead man and 20-year-old from Windale was suspended about 4pm.

Director of Surf Life Saving Central Coast, Brett Beswick, said the presence of several caves in the area meant it was still possible the men could be found alive.

"There's some hope they washed up on the caves and they're still there, but the size of the swells makes that unlikely," Mr Beswick told AAP.

He said the search had been concentrated on the water and had taken place over a fairly large area.

Mr Beswick said it was still not certain how the accident occurred.

"Presumably one's gone in the water and another's gone to help, that's the most likely scenario."

Earlier, Surf Life Saving NSW manager Dean Storey said every effort would be made to continue the search, although it would be dependent on police advice in the morning.

"We'll do our best to try and locate them," he said.

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