Hopes fade for man missing off NSW coast

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Hopes of finding an international university student swept into the ocean at a Newcastle beach are dwindling with the search being called off for another day.

The 23-year-old Pakistani man was at a rock face near Nobbys Beach with another foreign student, also 23, when they were swept off rocks by huge swells and plunged into the ocean on Sunday night.

A group of bystanders managed to help get one of them to safety but the second man, who was wearing a navy blue T-shirt and black jeans, disappeared.

Water police, a rescue helicopter and surf life savers spent a second day scouring the beaches and ocean front but the search was called off on Monday afternoon. It's expected to resume on Tuesday morning.

The search had been suspended on Sunday night because of hazardous conditions.

Crews put dye in the water to check where the current might have taken the missing student.

Witnesses say the men may have been taking a video or selfies when they were hit by the swells which reached up to five metres on Sunday.

Both were studying at the University of Newcastle.

Federal police are trying to contact the missing man's relatives.

Friends have maintained a vigil during the search with one posting on social media that he was "deeply saddened" to hear his housemate was missing.

The incident comes a month after two Nepalese students - a 23-year-old woman and 26-year-old man - drowned off Sydney's Maroubra Beach.

Surf Life Saving NSW issued a warning on Friday warning of dangerous surf conditions along the NSW coast on the weekend.

© AAP 2017