Rescuers tried in vain to save boy

19:07, Jan 19 2014

Beachgoers "did everything they could" to save the life of a boy who died at a Northland beach after a hole he was digging collapsed on him.

Emergency services were called to Frogtown Beach, near Whangarei, yesterday where the seven-year-old boy had dug the hole.

St John Ambulance spokesman Tony Devanney said about 1.45pm the boy stuck his head in the hole to have a look and the sand collapsed around him, pinning him and suffocating him.

Members of the public attempted to resuscitate him and St John sent paramedics by helicopter.

"Sadly and horribly it was unsuccessful," Devanney said.

A pilot with the Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter told Radio New Zealand this morning that passers-by did everything they could to save the boy.

Russell Proctor said when the helicopter arrived on the scene members of the public were already performing CPR on the child.

Proctor said they were joined by four paramedics and three doctors who were at the scene.

He added that there were about 30 people at the beach, some of whom were members of the boy's family.