One person has died in a boating accident off the north Taranaki coast.
Emergency services and surf rescue crews were called out at before noon today after a report two men, one local and a Chinese national, had fallen after their boat was tipped over by a wave on the Waitara Bar.
The men had been fishing about 200m from the coast, police said.
A nearby surfer managed to get to their small inflatable boat after it righted itself, and used it to pick the men up.
"There is no doubt the surfer saved the life of the other man who was in the boat when it overturned," said Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre.
"His actions are commendable and we are continuing to speak to him and other witnesses in an effort to piece together the sequence of events."
Ambulance staff performed CPR on the Chinese man on the shore but he died, a St John spokesman said.
The other man, in his 60s, was treated for minor hypothermia.
Neither of the men had been wearing a life-jacket, police said.
The Taranaki Rescue helicopter was also deployed in the rescue.