Water safety urged after drownings

Seatoun Wharf.
Seatoun Wharf. Photo credit: Google Maps

A man has died after getting into trouble in the water at Seatoun in Wellington.

Emergency services were called to Seatoun Wharf just after 8:30pm on Saturday, and the man was taken to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition - but died a short time later.

The death will be referred to the coroner.

Meanwhile, police are supporting the family of two snorkellers whose bodies were found off the Wairarapa coast.

And the search will resume Sunday morning for a missing kayaker at Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury. The man was reported overdue around midday on Saturday, having been expected to return a couple of hours earlier.

His kayak was found at 2:30pm, but there was no sign of him.

Water Safety CEO Jonty Mills says people need to understand things can turn dangerous, very quickly.

"The toll so far over the whole summer period reflects the complex nature of drowning. The numbers have represented a really wide range of activities, age groups and water-based environments...

"One is one too many. The official holiday from December 24 to January 3 saw six preventable drownings, against a five-year average of eight."

"We've still got plenty of summer to go, and we want people to enjoy the water," said Mills. "It's part of who we are as Kiwis, it's part of our nature, part of our culture."