Piha drownings continue horror run of water deaths

Piha Beach. Photo: NZ Herald
Piha Beach. Photo: NZ Herald
Two people have died after getting into trouble at Piha Beach tonight amid a horror nine days in the water around the country.

Emergency services were called to the beach just after 6pm. The two people were unresponsive when brought to shore by lifeguards.

Surf lifesavers at United North Piha Lifeguard Service were told two people were in distress in the water at 6pm, after patrols had ended for the day, Surf Life Saving NZ national duty officer Faron Turner said.

The first person was found unconscious in the water and taken back to shore, where CPR was begun.

A surf lifesaving IRB and jetski were used to locate the second person, who was also pulled from the water unconscious, Turner said.

Police said medical assistance was immediately provided but tragically the two people were unable to be revived.

The deaths will be referred to the Coroner.

Surf lifesavers are also now helping other emergency responders at the West Auckland beach, one of the city’s most popular.

This evening’s incident comes amid a horror nine days in the water around the country.

Nine people have died in water-related incidents over that period, including two in Lake Wakatipu at Glenorchy.

The body of a visitor from Australia was found yesterday after he disappeared at the mouth of the Rees River while trying to rescue a child about 4pm on Thursday.

Less than a week earlier, Wanaka resident Leroy Kaaho, also known as Linkin Kisling, died in nearly identical circumstances at Glenorchy.

Earlier today a body was found in water near Opoutere Beach in Coromandel Peninsula.

Police said the body found at Opoutere was believed to be that of a person missing since being part of a family group who got into trouble while swimming on Wednesday.

Another member of the group has already been confirmed dead while a third is in hospital.

A person also died in a water incident at a Takapuna address this morning, the third person to die in a water-related incident in Auckland’s northern suburbs in less than 24 hours, after two swimmers died at Big Manly and Narrow Neck beaches last night.