A person has died today after getting into difficulty while swimming in Bream Bay, near Waipu in Northland.
Police said the body of the missing swimmer was located in the water about midday.
Police were advised at 10.10am that a person had gotten into difficulty while swimming in the bay.
Police Search and Rescue, Coastguard, a rescue helicopter and Ruakaka Surf Club lifeguards took part in the search operation.
Bream Bay is a popular coastline for swimmers, surfers and fishermen, north of the holiday spot of Waipu, a small town about 40km south of Whangarei.
A local Kaumatua will attend to bless the scene.
The death will be referred to the Coroner.
A Waipu local, Jenni Carr, said the death was sad for everyone involved.
"I heard the (fire) siren go off. Today of all days," she said.
Carr said there had been quite a few drownings at the beach over the past few years, mostly Asian visitors who come to the beach to collect crabs.
A safety campaign was launched last summer to alert the mainly Asian crabbers to the dangers of the area after five males of Asian descent died while fishing for crabs at Bream Bay since 2011.
After signs were erected in several languages, the number of people wearing life jackets had increased, Carr said.
The campaign was started by Senior Constable and Bream Bay Beach Ambassador founder Martin Geddes to reduce the number of drownings on the beach and, in particular, to educate an increasing number of out-of-towners visiting the area to catch paddle crabs.