Kiwi woman drowns while saving daughter during Cook Islands holiday

A Kiwi woman has tragically drowned while saving her daughter during a family holiday in the Cook Islands.

The 52-year-old woman was on holiday with her family at Arorangi in the Cook Islands and got into difficulty while in the lagoon near the Arorangi jetty on Monday afternoon (local time).

Local police reported the sea was described as rough at the time of the incident and there was a strong lagoon current.  

Police said the woman was attempting to help her 11-year-old daughter who was being swept out by the current. 

At 2:24pm on Tuesday (local time), police received a distress call and local volunteers had been mobilised, including a neighbouring resident with a boat and a dive boat.

Cook Island Police said several people were on hand to help, including Puaikura Fire and Police volunteers, and ambulance staff. 

"The woman was recovered from the oceanside just before 4pm, some distance to the south of the jetty after being swept out through the passage," Cook Island Police said on social media.

"Police want to express appreciation for all the assistance from the Puaikura community and join them in extending sympathies to the family, and friends, affected by their sad loss."