Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Fisherman who drowned at Karekare to be farewelled today

Gary Menzies drowned at the West Auckland beach last Saturday. Photo / Supplied via Eucharistic Convention Facebook
Gary Menzies drowned at the West Auckland beach last Saturday. Photo / Supplied via Eucharistic Convention Facebook

A funeral will be held this morning for a fisherman who drowned at Karekare Beach last weekend.

Gary Michael Menzies, 69, drowned at the West Auckland beach last Saturday after being swept away by surf.

Police have said it appeared Menzies got into difficulty while making his way to a fishing spot on an island at the south end of the beach.

The father and grandfather was pulled from the water by a surfer and then transported to the beach by a surf live saving patrol.

Attempts to revive him were not successful.

Tributes have been flowing for Menzies who was described in a family notice as a "feisty and beloved" son, beloved father, dearly missed grandfather and big brother and "a rambunctious and dear uncle and cousin to many".

His funeral will be held in Balmoral at 11am.

Menzies' son Aaron posted a tribute on Facebook after sharing the sad news of the death.

"RIP my father who pass (sic) away today at Karekare Beach," he wrote last week.

"About 2pm today, wading to the island to fish, swept away by a strong current."

Karekare Beach on the West Coast of Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring
Karekare Beach on the West Coast of Auckland today. Photo / Doug Sherring

Menzies was heavily involved with the Auckland Eucharistic Convention, an annual event within the Catholic church.

Convention spokesman John Porteous posted about Menzies on the event's Facebook page.

"Our good friend Gary Menzies who has been the backbone of the Eucharistic Convention from the very beginning going way back to 1994 drowned today at Karekare Beach.

"No matter what needed to be done - Gary did it."

Porteous said Menzies was "swift and generous" when it came to helping out.

"Rest in Peace my good friend," he wrote.

- NZ Herald

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