A person has died following a dramatic beach rescue attempt at Waimarama Beach, near Hastings, where three people were caught in big surf.
No further details were immediately available and the status of the other two swimmers is unknown.
The Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter was also flying to the coastal settlement.
The incident came just hours after the well-attended Waimarama Beach Day, which attracts hundreds of people annually.
This is the second drowning in the Hawke’s Bay region this week.
On Tuesday, 35-year-old Taupo woman Amy Jenny Brown tragically died in the water near the Haumoana river mouth after she tried to rescue two young children in trouble.
Her body was found early on Wednesday morning.