A 51-year-old Auckland man drowned while fishing in an estuary near Tauranga today.

Emergency services were called about 1.45pm to reports of two men who got into difficulty in the water in the estuary near Tye Park, Welcome Bay Tauranga.

Tauranga Senior Sergeant Eddie Lyttle said when police arrived a 51 year old Auckland man had died and ambulance staff were working on a 49 year old male from Tauranga.

The 49 year old man is in Tauranga hospital. His condition was described as serious.


''It appears that the men were trying to catch fish with a net and the wind and current may have been a factor in causing the men to get into difficulty causing one to drown. Members of the public assisted in recovering the men from the water and without their help the second man would have likely died. The ambulance staff also played a vital role in resuscitating him.''

Senior Sergeant Lyttle says that "this is another example of the perils of netting for fish with out taking consideration for personal safety such as wearing life jackets and taking the conditions into account".

The matter will be reported to the Coroner.