A little girl has watched the tragic final moments of her parents' life as they both downed in a savage riptide off the eastern coast of Australia.
Builder Shaun McKeachie told 7News he and his mate Bodhi King were checking out the surf after work when they heard people screaming for help at around 4.30pm on Thursday (February 9).
He described conditions as 'very rough' but the pair 'ran down the beach and jumped in the water' to pull the couple out of a 'massive rip'.
The mother, a woman aged in her 40s, was swimming when she ran into trouble in the riptide.
The girl's father had already raced into the water in a brave attempt to save her before they both drowned.
McKeachie revealed the hero dad refused his help and begged him to save the woman he loved.
"[The husband] was in distress, just saying ‘save my wife, save my wife’," he told 7News.
The tradie and his mate hauled the woman back to shore on a surfboard.
"She was already unresponsive, which was not very nice to see, but we pulled her into shore and went to help the other guy."
The two friends attempted to administer CPR on both the husband and wife once back on the beach, but neither could be saved.
Paramedics also attempted to revive the pair to no avail.
McKeachie told reporters of the horror that the couple's six-year-old daughter witnessed.
He said: "[She] just watched it all happen ... it didn’t sound like she was in a good way."
"We tried our best to help but unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough on the day."
The drowned couple also have a younger child with autism, who remained at home with a carer when tragedy struck.
In total, there were three deaths on Thursday on the Central Coast, with the couple drowning hours after a man in his 60s was found face-down in the ocean at Forresters Beach, about 34 kilometres south of Frazer.
As a result, surf lifesavers have renewed calls for people to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches after the horror day in the water on the Central Coast.
There have been 19 drownings in NSW since December. All occurred at unpatrolled beaches.
NSW Police will now prepare a report for the state coroner.Featured Image Credit: 7News