Man in 70s dies in water incident at Waipu adding to horror summer death toll

A man in his 70s as died in a water-related incident at Lang’s Beach, Waipu.

It is the second water death today after a person died in Te Puia Springs in the Waikato town of Kawhia at 1.50pm.

Emergency services responded to a report received shortly before 4.30pm that a man had been located unresponsive in the water.

He was unable to be resuscitated despite extensive efforts, police said in a statement.

“Police are making enquires in relation to the death on behalf of the coroner, who will release their findings in due course,” police said in a statement.

“Police extends condolences to the man’s family and loved ones.”

Waipu Fire Brigade attended the scene and have listed the incident as a medical event so it is unclear what the cause of death was and if the man drowned.

It has been a heartbreaking summer so far for water-related deaths across New Zealand.

As of January 5, 25 people had drowned since the beginning of December – equal to the total for all of last year’s 2020/21 summer, with nearly two months to go.

In recent weeks there have also been several deaths.

Last Saturday, a snorkeller died after a water incident in the Coromandel.

Water Safety NZ chief executive Daniel Gerrard said the level of drowning was “unprecedented” and described it as “horrendous”.

“I’m at a loss on what to say,” he told the Herald.

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