The police in Tauranga are praising a group of swimmers who saved the lives of two children who went swimming in a rip.
A nine-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl were taken out to sea by the rip between Parton Road and Taylors Road reserve at about 1.30pm on Friday.
The police say four swimmers went out and kept them afloat until they could be rescued by surf lifesavers.
Senior Sergeant Rob Glencross says, without their intervention, the pair would have drowned.
Mr Glencross says the incident shows the importance of swimming between the flags and for parents to keep a close eye on their children.
The police are now considering presenting the rescuers with a formal award, he said.