A man who drowned yesterday at Hot Water Beach reportedly trying to save a child was a member of a Tauranga Christian organisation.
Couples for Christ New Zealand confirmed on its Facebook page that Angelo Tuyay had died while trying to save a child shortly before 4pm.
“Brothers and Sisters, it is with sadness to inform you that Bro Angelo Tuyay passed away today,” the page wrote.
Source: Facebook/Couples for Christ New Zealand
“Let us all say our prayers for Bro Angelo who died while saving a child drowning in Coromandel area.”
Tuyay, aged in his 50s, was pulled from the water and given CPR but died at the scene.
Shortly before 4pm, the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded to reports that a man was struggling in the water.
Hot Water Beach lifeguards were packing up after training on the other side of the beach and were not made aware of the incident for six or seven minutes after Fire and Emergency New Zealand had been notified, NZ Herald reported.
"We need to be there as soon as other people. If we get stood down that is fine, but seven to eight minutes, in a life-saving situation, is crucial,” chairman Gary Hinds said.
Two weeks ago, a similar incident unfolded, with lifeguards only made aware of a near drowning when the fire truck responding called Mr Hinds.
"I've been working on this for four or five years. We are like the poor cousins, we have the same training and assets and we are the ones at the beach and know it well,” he told the NZ Herald.
"It is disappointing, we don't know if we could have changed anything, we have to sort this out, so it doesn't keep happening."
The man's death had been referred to the coroner, a police spokesperson said.