25 Dec 2019

Body found in search for fisherman swept out to sea on Christmas morning

4:17 pm on 25 December 2019

A crab fisherman has been found dead after getting into difficulty at Uretiti in Northland.

Waipu beach, Northland

Waipu beach, Northland. Photo: 123RF

In a statement, police said they were advised at 10.10am that a person had gotten into difficulty off Bream Bay near Waipu.

Police Search and Rescue, Coastguard, a rescue helicopter and Ruakaka Surf Club lifeguards took part in the search operation, however, the fisherman was located in the water about noon.

A local kaumātua will bless the scene.

Surf Lifesaving Northern Region chief executive Matthew Williams said it was a tragic reminder to the public, particularly the rock and crab fishing community.

"Always [make] sure when you're fishing on the rocks that you're dressed ready to go into the water, so you're not going to sink once you go in there.

"[Also] not to fish alone and to make sure people know where you are at all times, and when you're crab fishing just being really careful around that shoreline."