The woman has drowned at a Bay of Plenty beach yesterday while trying to rescue her partner has been identified by police.

She was Francis Webster, 53, of Rotorua.

Emergency services were called to Pukehina Beach, near Te Puke, yesterday 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 got into difficulties in a rip about 100 metres from shore.


Early reports were that his partner, Ms Webster, went into help but got into difficulties herself, Tauranga police said.

Emergency services responded and rescued the man with a rescue swimmer, a jet ski and other staff.

Ms Webster was pulled from the surf but was unresponsive, and efforts to revive her were unsuccessful.

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