Surf Life Saving NZ Acknowledges Fatality at Whangārei Heads

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Holding Statement

Apr 1, 2021

Surf Lifeguards assisted in the recovery of the body of an adult male at Deadhorse Bay, Whangārei Heads on March 25, 2021.

At 1:20pm, the Whangārei Heads Emergency Call-Out Squad (ECOS) was advised by Police via SurfCom that a body was located in the water at the southern end of Ocean Beach. The team responded with an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and an inflatable rescue boat (IRB).

By the time the team arrived, surfers had brought the body to shore at Deadhorse Bay. Due to the terrain, Police were unable to access the patient and the ECOS team launched the IRB to collect the patient from the beach. Once collected, the patient was delivered to Police.

Sadly, the patient was pronounced deceased at the scene and. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who died.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand would like to acknowledge the Whangārei Heads ECOS team, the surfers who initially recovered the patient, and the NZ Police.

This fatality occurred at a lifeguarded beach outside of patrol hours. The death will be referred to the Coroner and Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s Coastal Safety team will work with emergency services to establish the circumstances.



For more information, please contact:


Mackenzie Koppel

Surf Life Saving NZ Media & Communications Manager

021 757 433