Constable 1st Class Andrew James Murray.
Constable 1st Class Andrew James Murray. Australian Police

Officer who gave up his life saving swimmer, is remembered

IT WAS on a holiday trip to Byron Bay on March 23, 1989 with the family that Constable 1st Class Andrew James Murray lost his life.

About 3.05pm on that day they were at Tallows Beach when the constable saw a young woman in distress in the water.

He then took his surf ski and paddled out through a rough, two metre swell to assist.

The girl's boyfriend at this time also entered the water and managed to help her to safety.

Constable Murray had at this time unfortunately been tipped off his surf ski and was seen with an arm raised, indicating that he was having difficulties.

He was again spotted a short time later floating about fifty metres out, on the surface.

Despite an extensive search the constable was not seen again.

It is thought that he may have been struck on the head by the ski when tipped off it, or perhaps injured when dumped in the heavy seas.

At the time The Canberra Times of 26 March, 1989 reported that the search for the 26-year-old police man would be scaled down.

"A police spokeswoman said today that there was little hope of finding the constable alive and the search was being scaled down."

The constable was born in 1962 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 20 July, 1981.

At the time of his death he was stationed at Tabulam.

He is listed in the official New South Wales Police Honour Roll.