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A diver who died near Shag Point in East Otago yesterday had earlier been diving for paua, police say.
Sergeant Blair Wilkinson, of Oamaru, said the 57-year-old man, whose name and place of residence were yet to be released by police, was found unresponsive in the water by a friend before being brought to shore.
Attempts to resuscitate the man were unsuccessful and he died at the scene.
A police spokeswoman said emergency services were called about 5pm to reports of a person unconscious in the water.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said fire, ambulance and police attended the scene near to the Hampden-Palmerston Rd.
One Fenz appliance from Oamaru attended.
The death has been referred to the coroner.