A woman has drowned at a Bay of Plenty beach while trying to rescue her partner, police say.

Emergency services were called to Pukehina Beach, near Te Puke, this afternoon following reports that two people were in trouble in the surf.

A 45-year-old Rotorua man who was fishing off the beach had entered the surf and had got into difficulties.

Early reports were that the partner of the fisherman went into help but got into difficulties herself, Tauranga Police said in a statement.


Emergency services responded and rescued the man.

His partner, 53, was pulled from the surf but was unresponsive, and efforts to revive he were unsuccessful.

The matter had been referred to the coroner and would be the subject of an inquest.