Waipū estuary drowning prompts strong warnings from Police

By Dean Nathan

Today police named the young Māori boy who drowned at the Waipū estuary yesterday afternoon.  He was Jahzel Porter, 11 years of age from Whangarei.

Following this tragedy police have put out a strong warning to the public heading to the seaside at this time of the year.

Police are flat out at the moment dealing with fatalities both on land and at sea.

Northland Māori Liaison Rick Brown says, “My wish is that the public spending time at the seaside really keep watch and take care of their children and grandchildren whether they're fishing or swimming.”

Across the country, Jahzel Porter is the eighth drowning victim since Christmas day.

“It’s a very sad time with the loss of this boy at the beach and a real tragedy.  I think some visitors to the area are ignorant and unable to see signs of danger in the sea,” says Brown.

There has been wide concern these holidays about the strong undertow during the outgoing tide with one of the highest rates of people getting into trouble in the water with a majority of them being rescued and returned to safety by lifeguards.

Brown says, “Take plenty of care when fishing or swimming or in any other activities at the beach.”

Police say that even one loss at sea is one too many.