The police in Hawke's Bay are labelling the efforts of a 15-year-old heroic after he helped save a woman who was swept out to sea at a beach north of Napier.
A 21-year-old woman was caught in a rip and swept more than 200 metres off shore at Waipatiki Beach, 40 kilometres north of Napier.
The teenager swam out and managed to help the woman until a kayaker reached her and gave her his life jacket.
Once she was taken to shore she lost consciousness, but several doctors holidaying at the beach provided medical assistance until a St John ambulance arrived.
She was in a stable condition at Hawke's Bay Hospital.