Mahia mother who drowned trying to save son is named

By Sam Hurley -
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The water at the beach is usually calm, but that day it was horrible.
The water at the beach is usually calm, but that day it was horrible.

The 47-year-old mother who drowned near Mahia last weekend attempting to save her son was Suzanne Faye Rowse.

Sergeant Aubrey Ormond of Wairoa police said the Mahia woman died in "rough" sea conditions at Blue Bay near the small town of Opoutama.

Hawke's Bay Today first reported Sunday afternoon's drowning after the woman's "motherly instincts" forced her into the waves to save her son and another boy distressed in the surf.

Australian surfer Ross Shields, 63, attempted to save Ms Rowse while his wife Fiona tried to resuscitate her on the beach before emergency services arrived.

The two boys were unharmed.

A vigil dedicated to Ms Rowse and her family was held at Nuhaka School, where Ms Rowse's son attends, on Monday.

The funeral service for the mother of two will be held today in Opoutama. The death has been referred to the coroner.

Meanwhile, police are interviewing the survivors of Saturday's high-speed crash just outside Dannevirke in which a Waipukurau man was killed.

Daniel Troy Leslie, 31, was killed after the car in which he was a passenger struck a power pole on the corner of State Highway 2 and Makirikiri Rd.

Detective Sergeant Shane Brown, of the Tararua CIB, said investigations were continuing.

"We are in the process of interviewing the man and woman who were in the vehicle. We are also awaiting forensic test results and the Serious Crash Unit report - both of which will take some time to complete and then review before we can lay any charges."

The two survivors were taken to Palmerston North Hospital following the accident. The female passenger has been discharged while the driver remains in a stable condition.

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