British tourist drowns at beach in Australia

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An elderly British tourist has drowned while swimming at a beach in Byron Bay, Australia.

The Surf Life Saving NSW gave a statement that said a member of the public found the man, aged in his 70s, floating in the water about 250m south of the Brunswick Heads beach surf club on 12 March.

Northern Emergency Coordinator Jimmy Keough said surf conditions in the area had been very unstable, possibly as a result of cyclone activity in Queensland.

He told the Northern Star: "The surf conditions are treacherous at the moment and there are strong rips appearing along much of the northern NSW coastline.

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this man and we'd encourage people to exercise caution if entering the water at unpatrolled locations."

According to the Gold Coast Bulletin, the deceased man had only been in Australia for a few days.

The paper added that at this time of year Brunswick Heads is patrolled on weekends by volunteer lifesavers, while Byron Bay main beach is patrolled by the Australian Lifeguard Service on weekdays and volunteer lifesavers on weekends.

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