Weather man in dramatic scenes as body pulled from surf
Tributes are flowing for a Gold Coast gym manager who died in a double drowning tragedy after a late-night swim with a female friend in treacherous surf.
A TV weatherman helped pull Jake Jacobs' body from the surf after it was found at Main Beach last night - nearly 24 hours after a massive sea, air and land search was launched.
The 32-year-old's clothing and car were found abandoned at Broadbeach yesterday morning.
His companion, Melbourne woman Julia Boika, 29, was found unconscious on popular Kurrawa Beach on Thursday night but frantic efforts by paramedics to revive her ended up being in vain.
The pair is believed to have gone swimming about 9.20pm as 2m waves whipped up by ex-Cyclone Lucas pounded the coast.
As hopes of a miracle rescue faded, police grimly conceded that the search for Mr Jacobs was a 'recovery mission'.
Television weather presenter Luke Bradnam had just finished a live-cross and was on the beach when his body was discovered and with others helped bring it back to shore.
Mr Bradnam had just gone off air when a boogie boarder alerted him to a body in the water.
"I immediately stripped off and raced out with the boogie boarder to help out the person in trouble," he said.
"When we got closer, it became pretty evident that in fact there was a body floating in the water.
"The two of us were able to secure the body and start making our way back through a rip back into shore.
"Fortunately a clubbie and a lifesaver saw we were in trouble and came and helped us."
Two police officers were rushed to hospital with multiple injuries after being thrown from a boat in huge swells during yesterday's search.
Mr Jacobs was a British national who moved to the Gold Coast from London in 2018.
He was manager of the MyFitness Club at Broadbeach, where Ms Boika was a member.
The gym's founder, Rick Brennan, said staff and members were shattered.
"It's just horrendous - I've spoken to a number of staff today who are in total disbelief," he said.
"Jake had been our manager for the past couple of years and he was incredible.
"He was a beacon of shining light for members and staff and the club's not going to be the same without him.
"The club has been rocked by this terrible event but now we are all hoping he is found so there can be some closure for his family back home in the UK."
Only 12 days ago, Mr Jacobs took to Facebook to post photos of he and Ukrainian-born Ms Boika on an idyllic visit to the Gold Coast Hinterland.
"Beautiful day strolling through the forest, admiring the beauty of nature," Mr Jacobs posted.
"Sitting mesmerised by the power and peacefulness of the falls. Sitting at the top of waterfalls, overlooking the forest, watching the sunset through The Valley.
"Followed by dinner with orange skies.
"Thank you hermit, who came out. For being bold enough, when you're shy. Thank you for the laughter, with your child quality to your expressions."
Ms Boika last month posted a photo of her sunburnt 'for the first time in 4 months of living on the Gold Coast'.
"I don't know what I was expecting after spending almost seven hours on the beach," she posted.
Gold Coast Council lifeguards closed many beaches yesterday due to the dangerous surf.
Originally published as Weather man in dramatic scenes as body pulled from surf