Police in Waikato are expressing deep gratitude to a woman who plucked a man to safety after his boat sank off the western Coromandel coast.
Another man died after the incident, at Otautu Bay near the settlement of Colville about 7.20pm on Friday.
Police say they are looking for the most appropriate way to formally acknowledge the actions of the woman.
They say she rescued the man from a boat which sank in rough seas and brought him to shore.
She then raised the alarm over a second occupant of the boat, and rescue craft rushed to the scene.
The first man was taken to Waikato Hospital, where his condition is improving.
But the second man was unconscious when he was located later, and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
His death has been reported to the Coroner.