Competitor dies at Iron Māori event

The scene at the finish line at the Iron Māori event on Saturday in Napier.
The scene at the finish line at the Iron Māori event on Saturday in Napier.
A competitor in the Iron Māori multisport event in Napier on Saturday morning has died during the swim leg.

Emergency services and members of the public were seen on the beach at Ahuriri’s Perfume Point holding up tarpaulins to shield the body.

Police described the incident as a “sudden death” and said it was reported shortly after 7.40am.

A message from Coastguard Hawke’s Bay posted on social media said the person who died was a competitor and the death occurred during the swim leg of the event.

Local iwi were in the process of placing a rāhui on all water activites in the Napier area, Coastguard said.

“In the interim as a sign of respect please refrain from swimming, fishing or boating in the area.”

The cause of the competitor’s death has not been released.

Event organiser Heather Skipworth told an NZME photographer at the scene the person who died was an entrant in the event.

Skipworth declined to comment further out of respect for the person’s whānau.

A police spokesman described the death as “water-related” and said investigations into the circumstances are ongoing.

St John said they sent an ambulance along with a manager and a rapid response unit, but were not required to transport anyone to hospital.

The Iron Māori individual triathlon event started at 7am with the 1km swim leg for the individual event, while the team / solo discipline swim start was set to begin at 7.40am.