A man has drowned off Ruakaka Beach today after he and two others were swept 100m offshore.

The incident happened just north of the Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving club, just before 6pm.

Police said: "It is believed they were going out to check a crab pot.''

A rescue boat was able to bring two people to shore about 6.10pm but one remained missing.

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Two inflatable boats searching for the man were joined by a boat fishing in the area and he was found about 6.30pm.

Rescuers carried out CPR but he could not be revived and was declared dead at the scene.

Police said the dead man was from Auckland.

The other two people were receiving medical treatment.