One person is dead and two others are in hospital after a rescue operation at a popular Hawke's Bay beach.
St John Ambulance spokeswoman Jennifer Porter said emergency services were called to Waimarama Beach, near Hastings, at 6.50pm Sunday night.
A helicopter was used to transport one patient with moderate injuries to Hastings Hospital while an ambulance was used to transport a patient with minor injuries.
A police spokeswoman confirmed a third person had drowned at the beach this evening.
"Police were called to the beach shortly before 7pm after three people got into difficulty in the water.
"Sadly one of the people died after being recovered from the water."
No further details were available.
The beach hosted the annual Waimarama Beach Day earlier on Sunday.
The beach, which is known to have strong rip currents, has been the scene of numerous other incidents including the drowning of a toddler in 2015.