A tangi will be held tomorrow for an 18-year-old man who was swept out to sea on Northland's west coast on Saturday.

Patea Douglas Tane-Hohaia was one of three men swept out in rough seas as they fished for mullet with a net, north of Maunganui Bluff, 42km north west of Dargaville, about 1pm on Saturday. His body was recovered later that day.

His family have gathered at Waikara marae north of Dargaville in preparation for his tangi, which is set to be held tomorrow.

His 21-year-old brother, Hapakuku Tane-Hohaia, was rescued on the day of the tragedy and spent a day in Whangarei Hospital before being discharged yesterday.


The body of the brothers' cousin, Daryl Riki, 27, was discovered washed up on the the south side of the Maunganui Bluff yesterday.

Dargaville Senior Sergeant Rob Nordstrom said the three men were netting for mullet when they were swept out to sea.

"It's a common practice by the locals, but they are very much aware of what the sea conditions are, and when it is an appropriate time to go netting.

"In this occasion, the three young men got it wrong."

The Tane-Hohaia brothers have lived in Auckland but their family is from the area where they had returned for Christmas. Patea Tane-Hohaia had been working in the meat works in Dargaville.

Mr Riki was from Tauranga-Moana, and had been living in Te Kopuru, south of Dargaville.