A woman who nearly drowned at Mount Maunganui beach recalls the heartbreaking moment she made her peace with God and expected to die.

The woman, known as Siniua, was filmed at the beach this week retelling how she went for a swim with family on Friday but realised too late that she had gone too far.

"I tried my best to come back but ... too strong, the waves were really strong. They smashed me everywhere. They picked me up they smacked me down.

"Then I gave up and I said to God, 'I'm gone. I can't do it. I give up'."


Siniua weeps before explaining, "and then I came back up and I heard someone say, 'Hey, I'm here to save you'".

As she talks, Siniua is greeted by the then off-duty police officer Debbie Harries, who tells Siniua she was one of the three people who helped rescue her. Overcome with emotion, Siniua breaks down saying, "Thank you, thank you so much."

Auckland and Bay of Plenty police shared the video on their Facebook pages this morning.

Harries works as a Sergeant for Auckland police.