Police say a Hawke's Bay man rescued after getting into trouble in the water while collecting mussels, had a lucky escape.
Emergency services were called to the beach in Clive after fishermen noticed the man getting into difficulty.
One of the fishermen got a long piece of rope from his car and a woman who was passing by agreed to enter the water to rescue the man.
Onlookers then pulled the man to shore, police said.
He was initally unresponsive but was able to be revived.
Senior Constable Andy Clinton said if it wasn't for the actions of people nearby, the man would have been another drowning statistic.