Four people caught in a rip and undertow have been rescued at Maketu Beach in the Western Bay of Plenty.
Shane Beech from the Fire Rescue Boat said two people were were spotted being dragged out to sea, about 3pm on Thursday.
He said four others then attempted to rescue the pair and also became caught in the rip.
Mr Beech said two of those people managed to swim about 300 metres back to shore.
Rescuers plucked four others, including young boy, from the water.
Shane Beech says all six people were on holiday in the area.