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Christmas tragedy at Ngawi

Cape Palliser. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

A Christmas Eve tragedy struck the region’s south coast.

Police reported a man died early on Friday after a water-related incident near the small settlement of Ngawi.

Tony Matheson, shift supervisor and police search and rescue co-ordinator for Wairarapa, confirmed the incident. The 40-year-old Hutt Valley man was at the coast with a family group gathering kai moana, and the divers had spread out.

“It was observed the man was floating on the water,” Matheson said.

The man was brought to shore but attempts to revive him using CPR were unsuccessful.

He was thought to be using snorkelling equipment.

The incident happened on the coast near the golf course at Ngawi.

The man was about 100 metres offshore when the incident happened.

“It’s particularly distressing for his whanau and also a difficult event for the responders to deal with at this time of year,” Matheson said.

“Sea conditions were calm, so there were no large waves or anything like that,” he said.

A resident said the weather had been overcast and humid at the coast when they heard the warning siren sound about six times. Three police cars, an emergency responder and a fire and emergency vehicle had attended.

“We’ve seen the rescue helicopter flying overhead,” they said.

The matter was reported to police just after 9am.

The cause of death has still to be determined, and police are making inquiries on behalf of the coroner.

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