Surfer Jade Wheatley loses prosthetic leg in waters off Newcastle Ocean Baths

Jade Wheatley lost a prosthetic leg at Cowrie Hole, near Newcastle Ocean Baths.

Jade Wheatley lost a prosthetic leg at Cowrie Hole, near Newcastle Ocean Baths.

Despite a three-day search, the prosthetic leg Jade Wheatley lost off in the surf earlier this week remains missing.

Mr Wheatley, a well-known surfing identity in the NSW Hunter region who lost both his legs below the knee in a heavy machinery accident more than 20 years ago, is usually in the water without his prostheses, catching waves by essentially kneeling on his surfboard.

But on Monday, he decided to go paddle boarding.

"There was no waves, so a couple of mates and I jumped on the paddle boards and went for a paddle from Nobbys around to south Newcastle," Mr Wheatley said.

"On the way back, we thought we would play around in the [Cowrie] Hole on the paddle boards and I got washed off the board but the water sort of separated the leg and it disappeared.

"Straight away I dove down looking for it, but I could not find it anywhere."

Speaking to ABC Newcastle, Mr Wheatley said he was "exhausted" after spending "all day in the water" on Monday. "I've got slight hypothermia," he joked.

"We had a whole crew of guys ... looking all around. But there's a whole heap of holes and underwater caves."

Mr Wheatley and others continued the search on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He said he had submerged his other prosthetic leg and the mostly carbon-fibre product appeared to float just below the surface "bobbing up and down".

"It wasn't sinking, so hopefully it has been caught in a rock or a cave," he said of the missing prosthetic.

Mr Wheatley said the leg was customised and of little value to anyone else.

"If there's any shell collectors or divers out there that are cruising the beach ... they might get a shock, there's a leg lying around," he said.

Mr Wheatley has twice walked between Manly and Newcastle to raise funds for adaptive surfing events, like the Amputee Surf Day. He raised tens of thousands of dollars across the two campaigns. He has also competed in the World Adaptive Surfing Championship.

Despite a search by friends and divers, it is believed to have never been recovered.

This story Wanted: a leg lost in the surf first appeared on Newcastle Herald.