A 40-year-old Auckland man is believed to have drowned after
a stingray pulled his fishing rod into the sea causing him to
jump in after it, police say.
Senior Constable Lindsay Freeman said the man and his wife
had been fishing from the end of a jetty at Kauri Point,
north of Katikati, about 2pm today, when he caught a stingray
which pulled his rod into the water.
"He's jumped off the wharf to retrieve his fishing rod and
reel. He's got into difficulty in the channel because it's an
outgoing tide," he said. "It was at that point when the
current really starts to pick up with the outgoing tide."
The Trustpower TECT rescue helicopter was called to search
the area by air but was stood down after 40 minutes.
Local residents, the coastguard and surf lifesavers also
spent the afternoon peering into the murky water hoping for a
glimpse of the man while police and volunteers conducted a
The police national dive squad arrived at the scene early in
the evening to begin their search for the man's body.
The apparent tragedy would be the third water related death
in the Western Bay of Plenty in as many days. Palmerston
North woman Catherine Michell Hintz died after being found
lying at the bottom of a Tauranga motel thermal pool on New
And a Tauranga man died during a diving trip near Motiti
Island on January 1. He has been named as Blair Kiddle, 42.
- Bay of Plenty Times