Police have released the name of the woman who died reportedly trying to save her son at an Eastern Bay beach.
She was Lita Tarau, a 42-year-old from Whakatane. She drowned at a beach near Thornton, Whakatane on Saturday.
Whakatane police released her name yesterday but were still waiting to receive the results of her autopsy, which was due back later this week, to determine the exact cause of her death.
Whakatane police Sergeant Aaron Fraser said it was believed Ms Tarau had tried to save a child she was with before getting into trouble herself.
However, he said the death could have been a result of a medical condition. A friend of the woman posted on Facebook she died a hero saving her boy.
An off-duty policeman, who was at the beach with his family, saw Ms Tarau and tried to save her.
The policeman managed to get her on to the beach where he performed CPR for about 15 minutes. However, when the ambulance arrived at the beach officers were unable to revive her.