An Irish man has drowned while attempting to rescue his daughter who got into difficulty while in water in New South Wales, Australia.

Police were told a couple and their three children were in the shallow water at Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head about 6.30pm yesterday evening, when their 11-year-old daughter was swept out to sea on a body board.

The beach was not manned by lifeguards at the time.

The 45-year-old man swam out to her, but was unable to return to shore. His wife also swam out and she and the girl were able to reach the beach and alert authorities.

Upon arriving at the scene, two police officers entered the water in an attempt to find the man, but were unsuccessful. The man was brought to shore at about 7pm by surf lifesavers.

New South Wales Ambulance paramedics started CPR, but were unable to revive the man, who was pronounced dead at scene.

The woman and her daughter were treated by paramedics and allowed to go home.

Police in News South Wales believe the family had moved to the area within the past 18 months.

Its believed the father is Irish and his family are Australian citizens.

The man's name has not been released at this time.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

It is the tenth coastal drowning in the state so far during the country's summer and the third involving a parent trying to rescue a child.