A woman drowned while trying to save her son at a beach near Mahia, Hawke's Bay, yesterday.
The 47-year-old local woman dived in to the water when she noticed her young son in trouble in the surf near Opoutama at around 1pm.
St John paramedic Brendon Hutchinson said the incident occurred near the site of the old Blue Bay motor camp.
"There was a swell of about two metres running. It appears her 10-year-old got into a bit of difficulty and she went out to get him. She got into difficulty herself. The boy managed to make it back to shore and two passersby went in to retrieve the woman," Hutchinson said.
He said the passersby brought the woman to shore and performed CPR for around ten minutes until the Mahia first response team arrived. They continued CPR for about half an hour but were unable to revive her.
The death has been referred to the coroner.