A man has died after a boat carrying five people, including two children, flipped at Tairua bar in the Coromandel yesterday.
Twenty-nine people have now died as a result of a water-related incident this summer, making it the worst toll in years.
Two children, a woman and a man were flown to hospital yesterday afternoon after the boat they were in overturned in the second incident at the bar near Pauanui this week.
Police have confirmed this afternoon that a man has since died.
"Police extend their sympathies to his family and friends at this very difficult time."
An investigation into the circumstances that led to the boat overturning is ongoing.
"This includes making inquiries in relation to the death on behalf of the Coroner," police said.
A man in his 60s was flown to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition, Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust spokesman Lincoln Davies told the Herald yesterday.
The man was resuscitated at the scene twice with the assistance of Surf Life Saving and St John.
A woman in her 30s and a boy and girl were airlifted to Starship and Auckland Hospitals.
Police said today the two children are in a critical but stable condition.
Another person on board the boat at the time was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
A witness said three rescue helicopters had landed in the area, a popular holiday spot, and the Coastguard was also involved.
Video shot at the scene showed people holding up a sheet as ambulance officers worked near a Surf Lifesaving IRB. It also showed a semi-submerged boat near shore.
Aucklander Campbell Wright was on a boat going out fishing when he saw 20 to 30 people in the water trying to right the stricken vessel, which he believed was a pleasure boat about 5m long.
"There was a massive line of people trying to right the boat. It took a lot of people and a long time. There was a big cheer when they got it over," he told the Herald yesterday.
Along with the rescue helicopters, two ambulances, two managers and a rapid response unit were sent to the Vista Paku area to help.
The fatal incident happened two days after a boatload of people had a lucky escape when rough seas flipped their vessel on Tairua bar.
"It is a treacherous bar, especially at low tide," said Andrew Gibson, president of the Tairua-Pauanui Coastguard unit, at the time.
It has been the worst summer for drownings in New Zealand since 2015, according to Water Safety New Zealand.
Fourteen people have lost their lives in preventable drownings this holiday period, termed by water safety authorities as a "national tragedy".
The "unprecedented" toll, occurring between 4am Christmas eve and 6am yesterday morning, represents a 180 per cent increase on the five-year average.
Since 2016 there has been an average of five preventable drownings throughout the holiday period.
Water Safety New Zealand chief executive Daniel Gerrard said the horrific loss of life was a tragedy.
"It cuts through every age range, water activity and ethnicity," he said.
"A common theme in these drownings was people underestimating the conditions and overestimating their ability.
"Every preventable death is devastating to a family/whānau and the community."