A man in his 50s has drowned after falling off his kayak near Whāngarei at about 5pm this evening.

A police spokesperson said he was seen struggling in the water in Tutukaka, east of Whāngarei, and raised a distress flag just south of the North Gable.

Police, and other emergency services were alerted and the man was located in a serious condition and rescued by Coast Guard a short time later.

CPR was carried out but the man died at the scene.

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Police extend their sympathy to his family at this tragic time.