An Australian surfer recalled the terrifying moment his surfboard drifted closer to a young woman's decomposing remains that washed up on a popular Sydney beach.

The surfer, Max Vemeer, arrived at Bronte Beach on Tuesday evening for a surf when he saw an obscure figure lying beneath the shallow waters, reported.

“I went in and there was another man out and we thought we saw a body nearby,” he said, adding: "It wasn’t nice to see. It was face down so I could see the back ... It was naked so we thought it must be a dummy."

Later, police were called to the beach early Wednesday morning after a member of the public spotted the body, according to the outlet.

When Vemeer arrived at the beach for surfing Wednesday morning, he saw the officers making efforts to remove the body. He then realized what he had seen the day before and that it was a crime scene.

According to Vemeer, even though he saw the body the evening before, he didn't report it because he thought it must be a dummy. "We weren’t 100 per cent sure, so we didn’t call it in but it was floating towards the beach so we thought whatever it was would eventually wash ashore," he was cited as saying by

Another surfer said he couldn't exactly confirm what the object was due to the dark and stormy conditions. "We saw what we thought was a body, but no one wanted to get close to it [to check]," he told The World News.

"It was really close. We were like surfing with it. Its head was down, so all you could see was what looked like someone's butt. It was really weird," the surfer added.

Officers at the scene covered the body and carried it to a van. The beach was cordoned off and declared a crime scene. Police are carrying out an investigation.

According to investigators, the body appeared to have been in the water for a long time. It wasn't clear which age group the woman belonged to.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / Annie Spratt