An orca has been saved by holidaymakers after becoming stranded on a Tauranga beach today.
Ben Waru, his family and a friend were walking along Papamoa Beach when they spotted three orcas playing in the water at 8am.
"They were just playing and then all of a sudden, they turned around. The water started to churn and we thought they were chasing fish or stingrays," Mr Waru told Fairfax.
One of the larger orcas was chasing a stingray onto the shore when it became trapped, Mr Waru said.
Mr Waru and his friend, Dan Jackson, stepped in to help after watching the orca struggle for several minutes.
The pair were joined in the water by two other men and a dog before the whales was guided away from the beach.