A surfer has drowned at a beach south of Auckland despite the efforts of more than a dozen rescuers.
The head of the Kariotahi Surf Lifesaving Club, Mike Lawrence, said the man got into trouble north of the main beach at Kariotahi, near Port Waikato, yesterday afternoon.
Mr Lawrence said members of the public spotted him and went to his aid, but he was unconscious when they got him to shore.
He said nine senior surf lifesavers, four paramedics and the Auckland rescue helicopter crew performed CPR on the man for about 45 minutes before he was declared dead.
Mr Lawrence said the man, who was in his thirties, had been surfing by himself, about a kilometre from a flagged area.
He said surfers should try to stick with a friend and not stray too far from flagged areas.