Water incidents: Man dies off Canterbury coast; search for person at Hamilton Gardens

A man has died off the Canterbury coast while another person is unaccounted in Hamilton after a host of issues on the water around New Zealand today.

Police said a man died in the sea south of Motunau Island off the Canterbury coast today.

The island, uninhabited but a refuge for sea birds, is close to the coastline of Pegasus Bay, north of Christchurch. The man was reportedly diving.

In a separate incident, emergency services are responding to a water-related incident at Hamilton Gardens. Police say their first report was received shortly after 6pm. One person is unaccounted for in the water.

Two people have also been taken to hospital this afternoon after separate water incidents at holiday hotspots on the Coromandel Peninsula.

At 1.53pm St John was called to an incident at Waihī Beach, with one ambulance, one first response unit and one rapid response unit sent to the scene.

A St John spokeswoman said one patient was treated in a serious condition and was transported to Tauranga Hospital.

Emergency services were called at 2pm to the incident on Hahei Beach Rd, the spokeswoman said. Around 2.30pm a Westpac rescue helicopter was at the scene but an ambulance crew and the fire service were still en route.

St John treated one patient in a minor condition and transported them to hospital.

Hahei Beach sits between the popular Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. The town of Hahei normally has just a few hundred residents but this can swell to several thousand over summer.

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