A freediver is suspected to have drowned after he failed to return to shore in the Far North on Wednesday.
The 63-year-old man was with three friends freediving for seafood near Waipoua, on the west coast of Dargaville, around 3pm.
He went into the water, believed to be around the Waimamakau River area, with one of his friends while the other person stayed on shore.
The friend became concerned when he realised the man had not yet returned from his dive.
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A police spokesman said the man was found face down in the water later that evening.
"CPR was provided but the male was pronounced dead at the scene."
Police suspected the man, who had health problems, had drowned. However, the death has been referred to the Coroner.