Mother and child saved after being swept out to sea at rough West Auckland beach

A mother and her two children are lucky to be alive after a serious incident near West Auckland's Bethells Beach today. 

The scene at Bethells Beach. Source: Surf Life Saving New Zealand

Surf Live Saving New Zealand says it was alerted to the incident at the south end of O'Neill's Beach, just north of Bethells, shortly after midday.

It was the same location where a fisherman lost his life after being swept off rocks on Monday. 

Today, lifeguards arrived on scene within 15 minutes but the mother and child were back on shore.

They were losing consciousness and showing signs of exhaustion and shocks.

The pair were given first aid before the mother was flown to hospital.

The child was treated by St John paramedics at the surf club.

In total, Surf Life Saving Northern Region had been called to six serious rescues in six days, with a woman losing her life north of Piha on Tuesday.

SLSNR chief executive Matt Williams said it’s been the busiest winter in recent memory.

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There is concern beachgoers are forgetting basic safety measures, with Surf Life Saving Northern Region having more callouts in the last six months over winter than the whole of last year. Source: 1 NEWS

“We’ve had 33 callouts for our emergency callout squads since the start of May this year. When you consider that in the whole of last year – including over summer – we had just 31 callouts, that’s a massive increase in our workload, and it’s forecast to keep growing.”

He had a warning for parents.

"Know your limits and keep your children within arms reach, even if they're just standing out at the coastline, a rogue wave can come knock the children over."

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter has also flow to West Coast beaches for surf-related missions four times this week, twice at Bethells and once each at White's Beach and Piha.

Even though it's school holiday time it's quite unusual. 

Lifeguard Leonard Mead said the spate of rescues was concerning.

"This week along the west coast has been one of the worst in five or six years and we are concerned because our season only starts at the end of October."