A man has drowned at Hot Water Beach this afternoon after getting into difficulty while swimming.

Aged in his 50s, the man was pulled from the water and rescuers tried desperately to perform CPR, but he died at the scene.

The incident happened just before 4pm.

Read more: Man dies trying to save child in difficulty at Hot Water Beach

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The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded after reports that a male patient was struggling in the water.

"The patient had been retrieved from the water and CPR was in progress," a spokesman said.

"Unfortunately the patient died at the scene and crew returned to base."

A police spokesperson said it appears the man had been swimming when he got into difficulty.

His death would be referred to the Coroner.