PICTURED: Mohsin Khalid (Facebook)
The family of a 23-year-old international student who drowned off Nobbys has thanked the local community and NSW authorities for their support.
Search crews spent three days scouring the ocean after Pakistani man Mohsin Khalid was swept into the water on Sunday.
His body was discovered about one kilometre offshore on Wednesday.
"The family have been touched by the outpouring of public sympathy and support, and the many stories from his friends on the positive impact he had
made while in Australia," they said in a statement on Friday.
The family thanked the NSW emergency workers, the University of Newcastle, the Pakistan consulate general and the wider community for the support during
"this challenging time".
Mr Khalid, from Lahore in Pakistan's northeast, was studying business administration at the university after arriving in Australia in October.
He was "fun-loving" and "an extremely good sportsman" who loved cricket and played for the local Newcastle club.
The family is holding a tribute for the much-loved 23-year-old on Friday afternoon at The Gardens Cricket Club.
Mr Khalid was on a rock face near Nobby's Beach with his childhood friend, Mohsin Javed, also 23, when the pair were hit by a wave and dragged into the
Mr Javed managed to hold onto rocks as local bystanders jumped in to help and pull him back to safety but Mr Khalid disappeared.