Boy, 5, feared drowned off Sydney beach

09:29, Dec 22 2013
Sandringham Beach
DISTRESS: Scenes at Sandringham Beach in Sydney where a child is feared drowned.

A father has broken down in distress on a south Sydney beach after his five-year-old boy disappeared in the waves.

A family friend has told AAP the boy was with his older brother, playing in the water off Dolls Point, a popular beachside picnic  spot at Sandringham, when he suddenly disappeared about 5.45pm (NZ time) on Sunday.

Police said the search was continuing but  officers were attempting to comfort the boy’s father, who broke down at the edge of the sand.

‘‘Please just leave me alone,’’ he yelled at police and supporters. Family members are distraught.

A massive search effort involving police divers and the Westpac  Life Saver helicopter was launched on Sunday afternoon but search efforts were visibly scaled back around 9.30pm (NZ time) and divers left the water.

A view of the search area from Lifesaver 1. Note the green dye in the water. pic.twitter.com/4cNC1qXp5k

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AAP