A 24-year-old trainee doctor has died after a spear-fishing trip near Tauranga yesterday.
Jacob Beck-Jaffurs was pronounced dead when he was brought ashore to Pilot Bay in a boat yesterday afternoon.
Tauranga Police sergeant Craig Madden said emergency services were called to the Pilot Bay boat ramp just before 1pm and found Mr Beck-Jaffurs, who is from Whangarei, unconscious and unresponsive.
Mr Madden said Mr Beck-Jaffurs had been spear-fishing off Karewa Island - 14.5km from Pilot Bay - for several hours during the morning before he was found unconscious on the seabed by his diving buddy, who administered CPR.
Mr Beck-Jaffurs' grieving parents Chip Jaffurs and Barbara Beck spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend from their Whangarei home last night.
They said their son was a "magnificent, awesome young man".
"Jacob had a lot of experience in all sorts of water sports after growing up in and around water since he was little," his mother said.
"He was also an avid surfer and an excellent athlete and he was in top physical shape."
His father said "the world has just lost a wonderful young man who would have made a great doctor".
Mr Beck-Jaffurs was in his final year of studying medicine at Auckland University.
He was involved in a charity that helped pupils at low-decile schools.
The family moved to New Zealand in 1997.
Tauranga Hospital communication manager Diana Marriott said Mr Beck-Jaffurs had been doing a six-week internship rotation at Tauranga Hospital as part of his medical training.
Mr Beck-Jaffurs' younger brother, who is attending Victoria University in Wellington and his older sister, who lives in Melbourne, have been informed of their brother's death.
His parents said the family would be coming to Tauranga today.
Mr Madden said the death has been referred to the coroner.