A police officer and two passersby have braved treacherous conditions to rescue three men from a rip at Gunnamatta Beach, south of Melbourne.
Officers at Rye on the Mornington Peninsula noticed the three men caught in the rip about 200m from shore around 4.15pm on Wednesday.
Leading Senior Constable Anthony Coates and two members of the public swam out to the stricken men.
The group managed to bring the men safely to shore where they were assessed and treated by ambulance crews.
"This could have ended in tragedy if not for the brave actions taken by Anthony and the members of the public," Rosebud Sergeant Daniel Lean said in a statement.
"It also serves as a timely reminder that if you are going to go swimming make sure that you check the conditions and swim in appropriate locations."