A fishing trip off the Taranaki coast has ended in tragedy this afternoon.
About 1.15pm a vessel, off Tapuae north of Oakura, issued a mayday call to the Taranaki Coastguard after a man fell overboard.
There were two people aboard.
The Coastguard alerted skippers of other boats in the area who went to the man's aid while its vessel, Todd Energy Rescue, the Egmont Coastguard's boat Cape Rescue and surf life saving IRBs were put on stand-by.
Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said the man had died.
''Once it was established that the gentleman was deceased it was just a matter of getting back safely to port,'' McIntyre said.
It was not known how the man died.
''It's the early stages at the moment it could be as a result of a medical issue,'' he said.
McIntyre said the death would be referred to the coroner.
Should New Plymouth council sell off assets from the Perpetual Investment Fund to pay off debt?Related story: Perpetual Investment Fund asset sell-off 'should be debated'
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates
Get your mid week news fix
Get your South Taranaki news online