21 Jan 2023

Body found at Opoutere Beach where family group got into difficulty

4:39 pm on 21 January 2023
Surf Lifesaving crews at Opoutere Beach after a group of seven people signalled for help.

Crews searched on Wednesday for a second victim after one person drowned and several were injured at Opoutere beach. Photo: RNZ / Rayssa Almeida

A body has been found in the water near Opoutere Beach, north of Whangamatā where a family group was rescued this week after getting into difficulty.

One other person drowned in the incident on Wednesday.

"While formal identification has yet to take place, police believe the body is likely that of a swimmer who went missing on Wednesday 18 January," police said in a statement today.

A family of seven were involved in the water incident at the beach.

Emergency crews responded after getting a call about the incident at 11.27am, when people saw a group signalling for help.

About 3.30pm, police said six people were pulled from the water.

One was in a critical condition and unable to be revived, and four were in minor-to-moderate conditions.

Crews have been searching for the missing swimmer since.

Stuff has reported that the missing person was believed to be a teenager, while the victim found on Wednesday was an adult male.

Police said the death will be referred to the coroner and the search and rescue operation has now concluded.

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