A 27-year-old man has drowned in a rip current at a Central Coast beach this afternoon.
The man was swimming at Budgewoi Beach with five friends at 5:30 pm when they became aware of a strong rip.
Two of the group had already left the water, when the other four swimmers got into difficulties.
They returned immediately to help them, but could only get three of their friends out of the water.
"They were unable to reach the 27-year-old due to the conditions," Police said in a statement.
The body of the missing swimmer was later retrieved by other beachgoers.
Bystanders were trying to revive the man, but resuscitation failed.
Three of his friends were taken to Wyong hospital for medical checks.
Police are preparing a report for the Coroner.