'He couldn't swim' – daughter speaks about tragic death of parents who drowned after being swept off rocks at Muriwai Beach

The daughter of the refugee couple who died after they were swept off the rocks at Auckland's Muriwai Beach yesterday has spoken about the tragic incident as a Givealittle page has been setup to help the family.

Mu Thu Pa Ukay and her husband Kay Dah Ukay died yesterday after falling into the sea while on a fishing trip.

Their 13-year-old daughter Tha Dah Paw was at the beach at the time and saw the incident unfold.

Mu Thu Pa and Kay Dah Ukay died after falling into the water at West Auckland’s dangerous Muriwai Beach. Source: 1 NEWS

"[My father] couldn't swim. He was drowning and these waves were crashing," she told 1 NEWS today.

The couple were Burmese refugees from the Karen State, who migrated to New Zealand 10 years ago.

Another daughter, Dah Htoo, said the nine siblings were being supported by members of the Karen community in Auckland.

A Givealittle page has now been started up for the Ukay family.

Muriwai lifeguard Tim Jago said it's a "deceptively treacherous" spot.

"The edge of the rock tapers away sharply, and so people walk out onto that taper and just slide and go in. The rocks themselves are vertical once you're in the water, you've got no hand holds, there's no way back up," Mr Jago said.

The husband and wife were dressed for winter, "with multiple layers on."

"They were heavy in the water.

"They were about 10 strokes from being able to self-rescue but they had absolutely no swimming ability and they were just incorrectly dressed for what they were doing.

"They had no flotation or ability to swim."

The tragedy has sparked calls from the Burmese community to signpost the beach with warnings in Burmese to avoid future tragedies occurring.

Tha Dah Paw was at the Auckland beach and saw the incident unfold. Source: 1 NEWS