A 51-year-old Swiss tourist died at Ahipara on Tuesday afternoon, despite the efforts of two passersby, then St John and fire crews from Ahipara and Kaitaia to revive him.
According to police Beat Wyass and his partner, who had been travelling around New Zealand for two months and planned to travel to Papua New Guinea next week, went bodyboarding with a friend at around 4pm.
His partner, concerned by the force of the waves, got out of the water and when she turned she saw Mr Wyass face down in the surf.
The water was a little rougher than usual, but the surf did not extend far out from the beach.
Two passersby began performing CPR until they were relieved by the emergency services, which continued their efforts to revive Mr Wyass for 30 minutes, stopping only when it became clear that their efforts would not be successful.
The body was taken to a funeral home in Kaitaia.
Mr Wyass was widely reported yesterday as a victim of drowning, although the cause of death was not known at edition time yesterday.