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A man shot and wounded in the head in NSW's north had just come from a beach where his girlfriend's father had drowned, police say.
Police are hunting the gunman, but say the drowning and the shooting at Mullaway Bay yesterday are not linked, and are just a "horrible coincidence".
Following reports of shots being fired, police and ambulance officers found a 32-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the right side of his head about 5.30pm (AEDT).
He is in Coffs Harbour Hospital in a stable condition.
Police said today they were investigating reports the offender followed the victim and his family home from a local beach where a 57-year-old man drowned yesterday.
The drowned man was the father of the shooting victim's girlfriend and the shooting happened outside the dead man's home, a police spokeswoman told AAP.
"From an investigative point of view there's absolutely no link, it's just a horrible coincidence ... but there is that family connection," she said.
Early investigations suggest the shooting was the result of a personal relationship and an argument that broke out at the beach, police said.
They have urged anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.