A woman has lost her father through drowning and within hours, seen her partner shot and wounded in the head on the NSW mid-north coast.
But police say they are not making a link between the two incidents in their criminal investigation into Wednesday's shooting at Mullaway Bay.
"From an investigative point of view there's absolutely no link, it's just a horrible coincidence ... but there is that family connection," a police spokeswoman told AAP.
A 20-year-old man was arrested at 11.30am (local time) today and is likely to face a charge of attempted murder, police say.
Following reports of shots being fired about 5.30pm (local time) yesterday, police and ambulance officers found a 32-year-old man at a Mullaway Bay address with a gunshot wound to the right side of his head.
He is in Coffs Harbour Hospital in a stable condition.
The shooting occurred about an hour after the body of the 57-year-old father of the shot man's girlfriend was found at Woolgoolga Beach about 6km from Mullaway Bay.
Police said the shooting victim and his partner lived in Queensland.
They said they were investigating reports the offender followed the victim and his family into Mulloway Bay from the beach after the drowning.
The shooting happened outside the drowned man's home.
Police said they believed the shooting stemmed from a personal matter between the gunman and the victim that went back some years.