The body of an elderly man was pulled from the water near Rocks Rd on Monday morning.
The man’s body was spotted by passersby including Tahunanui man Roy Gray, who was driving along Rocks Rd towards Nelson city when he was flagged down by a destressed woman. Roy jumped out of his car and says he saw an orange vest floating in the water.
“I thought I’d better jump in the water and grab him but I rang triple one first and they said just wait for police, they’ll be there in seconds and as soon as police got here we both jumped in the water, grabbed him, brought him out and two or three other guys helped and lifted him up onto the top and they did CPR but unfortunately it wasn’t successful.”
Roy, who owns the nearby The Sands Fish n Chip shop, says the man, who is yet to be identified, bought some food from his shop just days earlier.
“Unfortunately I don’t know his name but he was a beautiful man.”
Acting sergeant Brett Kindley says police have launched an inquiry into the incident.
“Police have arrived to assist members of the public extracting that person from the water, unfortunately that person has died and we are now instigating an inquiry around the events leading up to that and possible cause.”
Items, including papers, were found in the water near where the man was found, but police say it’s too soon to say whether they belonged to him.
Roy, who was still shaking after the incident says the man’s death is “a real shame”.
“It’s shocking and I feel more for his family, I’d say what he was doing was he was walking along here with his walking stick and his wallet has probably fallen out of his pocket and gone into the water because it was high tide, right to that step and he’s probably gone down to get it and lost his balance and gone in.
“If we had only been about five minutes earlier it might have been a totally different outcome.”
Police are appealing for information from the public. If you saw anything unusual at around 10.15-10.20am please call police on 546 3840.