Man dies after water incident at Mount Maunganui

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Police said the man, who is believed to be in his 50s, was among a group of four struggling swimmers.  (File photo)

SURF LIFE SAVE NEW ZEALAND / Supplied

Police said the man, who is believed to be in his 50s, was among a group of four struggling swimmers. (File photo)

A man has died after a water-related incident at Mount Maunganui.

Police said the man, who is believed to be in his 50s, was among a group of four struggling swimmers.

As all were brought back to earth, the man was unconscious and unable to be revived.

The incident was reported to police shortly after 4:30 p.m.

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A spokesperson for St John said he received a call about a water-related incident near Mount Maunganui at 4:39 p.m.

A rapid response vehicle, two ambulances and a helicopter responded.

Police are investigating the death on behalf of the coroner.

The death comes after the number of drownings during the official vacation period, which is up 180% from the five-year average.

Preliminary figures released by Water Safety New Zealand show the toll for the official holiday period, which started at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve until 6 a.m. on January 5, is 14.

The five-year average of drownings for the previous vacation periods of 2016/17 to 2020/2021 is five.

Four beach deaths accounted for 29% of drowning deaths. The five-year average is two.

All but one occurred in the North Island, 93%, as in previous years, where on average one drowning occurs in the South Island per holiday period.

More soon.


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