A family is in mourning after a young father drowned at a beach on Auckland’s North Shore.
Friends and family have paid tribute to the man, who is survived by his widow and newborn son.
The 24-year-old was among a group at Rothesay Bay who got into trouble shortly after 5pm on Saturday.
Emergency services were called to a “water-related incident”.
His family and friends said he was devoted to his family.
He had married his partner late last year and the couple had recently welcomed a son.
Photos of the young family show the couple proudly holding up their baby boy, smiling and cuddling him close.
“So sad to know that you left us without saying any words or goodbye from you, brother,” one mourner said.
“Rest in peace bro.”
Another friend paid tribute to his “uso” (brother) and said he would miss his humour.
A former schoolmate said his death was shocking for everyone.
Authorities have not said anything further about the incident.
Another person from the same group was taken to North Shore Hospital in a moderate condition, while three others were treated for minor injuries.
Death surprises Rothesay Bay residents: Beach usually tranquil, family-friendly
Rothesay Bay residents laid flower tributes overlooking the beach on Sunday.
But many were perplexed at how the group came to grief at what is generally considered a tranquil and calm beach enjoyed by families.
One of those laying flowers said she didn’t know the dead man or the other individuals involved, but felt she “had to do something” in his memory.
“I see some people have done the same thing, which shows how close the community is.
She said Rothesay Bay is widely known for being fairly quiet and calm, so she wasn’t sure how the individuals got into trouble.
“When you hear about things like this, it’s just awful,” she said.
Nearby residents shared the same confusion at how the group came to grief on the tranquil beach, saying it was a shock to the community.
‘Painful reminder to be vigilant around water’, safety advocate says
One resident said the group may have been wearing unsuitable clothes for swimming.
Police said their thoughts were with the victim’s family. His death would be referred to the coroner.
Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) chief executive Daniel Gerrard said the incident was a heart-wrenching reminder of the unpredictable nature of water.
“Our hearts go out to those affected by this loss.
“This tragedy is a painful reminder of the importance of vigilance and preparedness in and around water. We encourage everyone to take water safety seriously to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Gerrard said.