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Police have identified the deceased man who was found by a passing boatie in a channel of water in the southeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula.
The man was found about 150m-200m north of the Beach Rd boat ramp in Whangamatā.
He was brought to shore and CPR was commenced, in vain.
Sergeant Will Hamilton said: "It appears that the man in the water has been deceased for a matter of hours."
Hamilton said police wanted to thank members of the public for the information they had provided and extend their "deepest condolences" to the man's family.
The man is in his mid-70s and likely to be a Whangamatā local but police are yet to publicly release his name.
Police are still investigating the circumstances before the man's death.
The death is expected to be referred to the Coroner.
After he was found Whangamatā Police had asked the public to come forward with any reports of missing people.
Whangamatā deputy fire chief Jim Barker told the Herald they were called to the emergency about 3pm.
The man was already on the beach when they arrived and they believed a member of the public had started CPR on him.
Emergency services administered CPR for 10 minutes before they stopped, Barker said.
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There were two other serious water incidents this afternoon across the upper North Island.
A police spokeswoman said that two people had been stuck in a rip drifting out to sea at Coopers Beach in the Far North about 2.45pm.
At one point it appeared three people were stuck in the rip, she said.
However, all had made it back to shore and appeared to be okay, she said.
A St John spokesman confirmed they had attended to two patients, who had not been injured.
Earlier a person was also involved in a water incident at Hot Water Beach, near Pye Place.
A St John spokesman said the male patient sustained moderate injuries about 12.45pm and was taken to Thames Hospital.
Meanwhile, Surf Life Saving Northern Region's Operational Manager Alan Gibson said it's been a busy season for the volunteer organisation.
One person was rescued on New Years Eve in 57th search and rescue in the last 28 weeks for the Northern Region's Surf Lifesaving teams.
On Monday alone, Surf Life Saving prevented 1176 incidents in the Northern Region, meaning that if lifeguards had not been there, the actions of those they spoke to could have led to a rescue needed - such as not swimming between the flags, not knowing where a nearby rip is, swimming alone or swimming too close to rocks.
And that wasn't even a particularly busy day, Gibson said.
"We administer between four to seven major first aid responses a day before St Johns arrives," he said.
"It's not just between the flags, a lot of the work is occurring out of the flags."
Over seven-and-a-half thousand people were recorded at Northern Beaches on Monday, over 2,000 of whom the lifeguards engaged with to ensure swimmers are aware of the conditions.
"It's proved to be a bit of a challenge, we are a volunteer organisation," Gibson said.
"We're recognising that all the public donations are making the difference."
Gibson said the number of significant injuries on the beach were down from last year, although lifeguards were seeing more abrasions and cuts than normal.
Additional reporting Chelsea Boyle and Kim Moodie