Police have warned that lake users need to take safety more
seriously after a 22-year-old Italian died in Lake Te Anau
over the weekend.
Constable James Ure, of Te Anau, said restaurant worker Luca
Ruffato, who had been in Te Anau for only about three weeks,
had likely died from hypothermia or drowning.
At 12.30am on Saturday Mr Ruffato's flatmates told police he
was last seen at 2pm on Friday but had not returned.
A helicopter search initiated then failed to find him. Const
Ure said a private search later on Saturday morning found Mr
Ruffato's body on Brod Bay, near a ''1960s vintage'' canoe.
Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes, of Invercargill, said the death
was a reminder for people to check equipment for safety, let
people know their intentions, check weather conditions and
talk to people with local knowledge before heading out.
Mr Ruffato, who was wearing a life jacket, had been on his
own and had not told anyone of his intended return time.
Snr Sgt Raynes said: ''There were 15 to 20-knot winds out
there. He shouldn't have gone out in those conditions.''