A person has died following an water incident at Sandy Bay near Whangarei.

Emergency services were called to the area at Sandy Bay in Matapouri, north of Whangarei, just after 4.30pm today.

St John ambulance said it was a water incident in Matapouri involving one patient and no transport was required. They sent three ambulances to the scene.

A local woman told Stuff beachgoers had helped pull a man from the water following a surfing incident.

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She came home and saw a fire truck and two ambulances at the beach.

The death has been referred to the Coroner.