Man dies in Vic surfing competition

Christopher Talbot

A surfer has died despite the "valiant" efforts of others in the water to save him on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.

Des Watson, 65, from Geelong was in a knee-boarding competition at Gunnamatta Beach on Saturday afternoon when he was hit in the head with his board and knocked unconscious, police say.

"In a valiant effort by his fellow competitors, he was pulled to the shore in fairly tough conditions," Senior Constable Tim Connor told reporters on Saturday.

Surfers and emergency services then attempted to revive Mr Watson but he died on the sand.

The beach was unpatrolled on Saturday and Surf Life Saving Australia says it is a "hazardous beach, with an average of 113 rescues a year".

Police are now preparing a report for the coroner.