Three people have died in water-related incidents across the North Island today.
Police have confirmed a person has died at Waiwera Beach following a “water related incident”.
The incident was reported to police just after 4pm and a second person was taken to hospital with moderate injuries.
Earlier this afternoon police confirmed a man has died at Karioitahi Beach, southwest of Auckland.
The incident was reported to emergency services shortly after 2pm.
Inquiries into the circumstances of the death are ongoing.
Less than an hour earlier, a person died following a water-related incident in Kapiti.
In a statement, police confirmed a woman had died following a water-related incident at Waikanae Beach.
The incident was reported to emergency services at around 1.30pm and police are making inquiries in relation to the death on behalf of the coroner.
Today’s deaths take the number of fatalities in the water to six since Thursday.
Earlier this week, Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) Chief Executive, Daniel Gerrard reminded New Zealanders to stay safe around the water this holiday period.
“While we want everyone to enjoy the summer break, unfortunately, too many New Zealanders are still drowning. There have been five preventable drowning deaths on average over the past five summer holiday periods,” he said.
Gerrard said too many lives are needlessly lost.
On a per-capita basis, New Zealand’s preventable fatal drowning rate is 1.62 per 100,000.
He said drowning in New Zealand is the leading cause of recreational death and the second highest cause of death by unintentional injury for people under 25 years of age.
“Our frontline rescue services Surf Lifesaving NZ and Coastguard NZ are bracing themselves for a busy summer, but everyone can play a part by thinking about water safety. People just need to remember some key water safety rules for safe play in the water,” Gerrard said.
• Be prepared – Check the weather forecast, marine conditions; know the local environment, safe swimming spots; set rules for safe play; use safe and well-maintained equipment.
• Look out for yourself and others – Always supervise children around water and keep children under 5 years within arm’s reach; never swim alone. Swim between the flags at the beach and make sure everyone on board the boat is wearing a well-fitted lifejacket.
• Be aware of the dangers – The water will be cold. If it’s a surf beach, it’s a rip beach.
Know your limits. Challenge yourself within your abilities and skill level; know what you can and can’t do in the water
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