A Rotorua firefighter's wife and a mother of three young children has died after kayaking on Lake Rotorua.
Rotorua Detective Sergeant John Wilson said the 34-year-old set out from her Ngongotaha home about 9.30am yesterday for a two-hour trip. Her kayak was found at Mission Bay about 4.30pm. The woman was found on the north-western foreshore about 1km west of the bay, Mr Wilson said. The woman's death was one of two fatal accidents which struck at the heart of the firefighting community yesterday.
Two teenagers died after their car collided with another on the outskirts of Taupo about 4.30pm yesterday.
One of the deceased was the son of a Taupo firefighter.
Rotorua chief fire officer Wayne Bedford said it had been a tough few days for firefighters.
"It's been a rough weekend for our guys. It's business as usual though," he said.
Mr Bedford said the woman's husband, who had been working in Rotorua for about 11 years, was relieved from duty earlier yesterday when it became apparent his wife was missing on the lake.
His colleagues were supporting him, Mr Bedford said.
"This is the worst scenario for our guys. It's the nature of the job really.
"While we are firefighters, we are human. It has really hit the guys hard.
"They have known [this couple] for a few years now. Everyone is really subdued today," he said.
It is understood the young couple have three young children. Police want to speak with anyone who may have seen the woman on the lake yesterday. She was in a yellow kayak wearing a dark coloured jacket. It is believed she travelled between Ngongotaha and Hamurana between 9.30am and 2.30pm.
Mr Bedford and his crew were supporting their colleague this morning. The fire chief planned to head to Taupo later today to offer support to the volunteer firefighter whose son had died.
Taupo Senior Constable Peter Sowter said the teenagers' car and another had collided on Broadlands Rd about 4.30pm.
A 17-year-old male and 18-year-old female passenger were cut from the vehicle. They died at the scene of the accident.
A teenage passenger in the other car was moderately injured. It was the second serious car accident involving young drivers in Taupo in the past week.
On Thursday three teenagers were flown to Rotorua Hospital with serious injuries after two cars collided on State Highway 1 near the control gate bridge.
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