A bereaved family has paid tribute to a man who died after being pulled unresponsive from the water during a group rescue in the NSW Hunter Region.
Kyrus Macalalad, 33, had been swimming with three friends at Stockton Beach in Port Stephens on Wednesday when the group became caught in a rip.
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One friend managed to return to shore while bystanders pulled the other three from the surf.
Rescuers attempted to revive Macalalad, however he died at the scene.
Stockton Beach drowning victim named as Kyrus Macalalad Credit: Supplied
“On arrival, we found three other people that had also been rescued and needed various levels of treatment,” Surf Life Saving NSW state duty officer Glen Dunkley said.
“Unfortunately, one person was unable to be saved, despite the best efforts of all the emergency services on the beach.”
Paramedics treated a woman in a critical condition and a second man in a stable condition before they were both taken to John Hunter Hospital.
A third man was also treated at the scene, but did not require any further medical assistance.
‘Love by everyone’
His parents Dolan and Marlo paid tribute to their son, telling 7NEWS: “Thank you for being such a good person inside and out, you are loved by everyone for your goodness and your kindness.”
Macalalad’s death was the second at the same beach in the last two weeks.
Kyrus Macalalad with his brothers, Jeko and Lexus Macalalad and parents Dolan and Marlo Macalalad. Credit: Supplied Kyrus Macalalad was attempting to help friends stuck in the surf when he drowned. Credit: Supplied
“Kyrus is a perfect example of what a big brother is, he always looked after his friends and family,” Macalalad’s brother Lexus told 7NEWS.
“I will miss you, we love you so much, fly high Kyrus,” his other brother Jeko said.
It’s the eighth drowning this summer in NSW, the same for all of December last year.
Since the first of July, there have been 28 drowning-related deaths, double the amount compared with 2022.