28 Dec 2015

Seven drownings since Christmas Day

7:59 pm on 28 December 2015

A man who died at a secluded beach near Tolaga Bay was caught in a rip while free diving, police say.

Tolaga Bay

The man died at Puatai Beach near Tolaga Bay (pictured), north of Gisborne. Photo: Ulrich Lange / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

They said the 50-year-old was thought to be a local.

Emergency services were notified by friends and family, who were with the man at Puatai Beach, at 2.45pm.

He was brought to shore by others in the group but was dead by the time the local rescue helicopter was able to reach him.

The police said his death had been referred to the coroner.

Six other people have drowned since Christmas Day, including a 22-year-old tourist found today in the surf at Mt Maunganui.

A 12-year-old boy died on Boxing Day after he was hit by a boat at Blue Lake in Central Otago.

Drownings this holiday period

Other fatal water incidents

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