Man drowns wading with preschooler

A man walking a child across the normally placid waters of Ngunguru estuary near Whangarei drowned tonight, police say.

The 39-year-old local man was walking across the normally shallow area near the beach front to the sandbar with the child when he got into trouble, Acting Sergeant Katrina Pearson said.

“He drowned as a result of crossing the harbour with a four-year-old,” she said, adding that the area could normally be waded at low tide.

“When rescuers arrived they were unable to resuscitate the man.”

St John’s ambulance shift manager Norm Ngatai said they reached the scene at 5.40pm to discover the man had been pulled from the water but was dead.

A four-year-old boy was flown by rescue helicopter to Whangarei Hospital and was late tonight recovering.

The first autumn weekend sparked a series of water-related call outs.

At 9am a fishing boat with five people aboard overturned at Raglan.

Two people were taken to Waikato Hospital, one in a moderate state and the other minor.

At 1.10 pm two people were rescued by life guards at Mt Maunganui but were treated at the scene.

At 6.30pm a male and a female were rescued at Whangamata and were treated at the scene.

Fairfax Media