The Tauranga-based rescue helicopter was called to the Eastern Bay to retrieve the body of a car crash victim last night.
Whakatane police called the TrustPower TECT rescue helicopter to the Eastern Bay of Plenty township of Omiao to assist emergency services after the accident.
Helicopter pilot Liam Brettkelly said a vehicle had left the road and ended up upside down, down a bank.
It appeared the man was either ejected from the vehicle or got out by himself after the accident, he said.
The man died as a result of his injuries and was found by two local fisherman.
Mr Brettkelly said it was unclear how long the man had been there.
"The helicopter was set up to winch the man using the Port of Tauranga rescue winch from the rocks, because the bank was steep, but the helicopter was able to land on the rocks and recover the man," he said.
Whakatane police are investigating the accident.