POLICE have called off the search for a reported surfer in distress off Newcastle beach after finding "nothing adverse".
Helicopters and officers began combing the popular stretch on Wednesday night, resuming at first light on Thursday, after a woman told investigators she saw a surfer struggling about 100 metres from the shore line.
Paramedics, surf lifesavers and Marine Area Command officers helped search.
Newcastle Police District's Acting Inspector David Piddington urged anyone with information to come forward and assist their inquiries.
"At this stage we have not taken any reports of any missing persons in the area, though we would like to speak with any surfers who were in the water at Newcastle beach at the time and may have seen a fellow surfer in trouble," he said.
Separately, a man has been flown to the Royal North Shore hospital in Sydney after suffering serious burns at a Bulahdelah home.
The Westpac rescue helicopter was called to the area after paramedics treated the 48-year-old for serious burns to his chest and face.
A spokesman for the service said the man sustained the injuries while welding.
He was stabilised on scene and flown in a serious but stable condition for specialist treatment.
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