A man has died after being swept out to sea at Seadown, north of Timaru, on Saturday afternoon.
Police said emergency services were called to the beach at 4.30pm, where they located a young child in the water upon arrival.
The child was brought to shore, where they were treated by ambulance staff.
Due to the treacherous conditions, a helicopter was required to search for the man who had been swept out to sea.
"Tragically, he was already deceased when he was located a short time later," police said.
The matter will be referred to the coroner.