No doubt the good weather (when we have had it) has sent many scrambling for the beach this summer.

The Western Bay's beaches and harbour are its most outstanding features.

It's little wonder, then, that many are drawn to their cool waters when the temperature rises.

The water is only a short drive away for most residents.


An annual influx of visitors over the summer months turns the coast into a hive of activity with swimmers, surfers and boaties sharing the water.

These are the benefits of living near the coast but there are dangers.

Yesterday, a 50-year-old man was found floating in the water at at Pilot Bay and taken to Tauranga Hospital after members of the public pulled him from the water and performed CPR on him.

The rescue followed three water-related deaths in the Western Bay last week.

Two of the deaths occurred along the coast.

Forty-one-year-old Catherine Michelle Hintz, of Palmerston North, was found lying on the bottom of a Greerton motel swimming pool. Paramedics resuscitated her at the scene but she died in hospital.

The following day, popular Tauranga lawyer and former policeman Blair Kiddle, 42, died after going into cardiac arrest while diving off the coast of Motiti Island.

Then Aucklander Peato Ilalio went missing while fishing from Kauri Point wharf. His body was found on Sunday.

The deaths highlight just how dangerous the water can be and have prompted a warning from Water Safety NZ for Kiwis to be safe. Water Safety NZ chief executive Matt Claridge urged Kiwis to look after one another around water and remind those out boating or fishing off rocks to wear a lifejacket, watch the weather, stay off the booze and tell others where you are going.

It is sound advice for everyone heading to the beach this summer.