Two men have drowned in the notoriously dangerous Manawatū River this afternoon.
It comes just days after a woman and young girl who were refugees from Burma drowned in the same section of the Palmerston North river.
NZ Police confirmed they responded to a water-related incident today in the Manawatū river after receiving reports from the public just after 5.30pm.
Later this evening, police confirmed the bodies of two men who were swimming in the river near Awapuni had been recovered.
Searchers recovered the men's bodies at a nearby location on the Manawatū river a short time after reports of their going missing. Police are making inquiries in relation to the deaths on behalf of the coroner.
It has been a terrible day for water incidents around the country with two people airlifted from Auckland's west coast after getting into trouble in the water after 6pm.
Today's incident in the Manawatū River comes after an 11-year-old girl's body was recovered from the same area of the river on December 31.
The search for the 27-year-old woman she was swimming with on December 29 had been continuing until today, January 2.
But shortly after 10pm today, police reported they believe to have recovered the body of the 27-year-old who had been missing for four days.
While formal identification has yet to take place, police said they believe the body to be the missing 27-year-old woman - Burmese refugee Mu Mu.
Locals on the Palmerston North Community Facebook page reported "heaps of emergency services" vehicles rushing to Manawatū River this afternoon.
"We've just watched seven emergency services fly past us in that direction," one person commented.
"About six ambulances and five cops have gone past mine," another commented.
Others lamented how dangerous the river was.
"Does no one realise this is going to keep happening. The rahui hasn't been lifted and the poor lady from earlier this week still hasn't even found. How long until this community uses their common sense and shows some respect," another person on the Palmerston North Facebook group said.
"This awa isn't for swimming, it's going to keep taking until people learn. Praying for their safe return, their poor whanau. Not a good way to start the year."
The woman, 27, and girl, 11, went missing from the same spot of the Manawatū river on Wednesday, December 29, when they headed for a swim in the river near Maxwells Line in Awapuni at 3.15pm.
A Givealittle page has been set up for Burma refugees Blae Ler Paw, 11, and Mu Mu, 27, who drowned in the Manawatū River on December 29.
The page describes how a group of refugee families had travelled to the river that day.
"Tragically 11-year-old girl Blae Ler Paw and 27-year-old mother Mu Mu, both members of the Karen Refugee community with little swimming experience, drowned," the Givealittle page says.
"Blae Ler Paw, an 11-year-old Karen refugee from Burma, entered the water and became distressed. Mu Mu (pictured right with her husband and son) a 27-year-old mother of 8-month-old Kaw Hser Ku, also a refugee from Burma, saw Blae Ler Paw was distressed, so heroically entered the water to assist despite not being a confident swimmer herself.
"Tragically the body of 11-year-old Blae Ler Paw has now been recovered and the search continues for Mu Mu who is presumed drowned."
On Auckland's west coast today two people were taken to hospital, one in a serious condition, after getting into trouble in the water off Karekare Beach surf club after 6pm.
St John Ambulance said a helicopter was dispatched after the alarm was raised at 6.10pm.
Both people were rescued from the water in a serious to moderate condition and were receiving medical attention before being airlifted to hospital.