Christmas Day drowning: Pourerere Beach victim named

The boy who died while diving at Pourerere Beach in Central Hawke’s Bay on Christmas Day has been named as Jade Gray.

Emergency services were called to Pourerere Beach about 8.50am on December 25.

The 17-year-old was from Otane.

Police said they “extend their sympathies to Jade’s family and loved ones”.

A police spokeswoman said medical assistance was provided, but the person died at the scene.

On the day of the incident, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council shared their “deep respect and sympathy” regarding the tragic death.

A council spokeswoman said the mana whenua placed a rahui from Pauanui Beach to Aramoana Beach for five days after the death.

Diving and collecting of kaimoana was prohibited during that time.

The death has been referred to the coroner.

In 2016, the Pourerere community suffered a double tragedy in which a man died while trying to haul the body of a diver out of the water.

Raymond John Cooper, 45, was the first to get into trouble while diving on Pourerere Beach, before 44-year-old Roger Francis Nathan went into the water in an attempt to help.

Both men died.

In 2013, 34-year-old Barney Leon Akurangi drowned while scuba diving with his family at the beach.

Earlier this year, a teenager suffered critical injuries after falling off the back of a ute driving on Pourerere Beach.

Witnesses reported utes driving on the beach on February 27 with passengers standing on the back.

Police said an 18-year-old was airlifted to Hawke’s Bay Hospital after falling off the back and suffering head injuries.

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