Body found at Hunua Falls

Police divers have found the body of a teenage boy who disappeared while swimming at Hunua Falls last night.

The 17-year-old was swimming with friends at the popular southeast Auckland waterfall when he got into difficulty about 6pm.

Police said this afternoon members of the Wellington-based Police National Dive Squad found his body just after 10am.

A friend of the teen, and two members of the public, attempted to go to his aid, but were unsuccessful.

His friend was injured in the rescue attempt and later airlifted to Middlemore Hospital by Auckland's Westpac Rescue Helicopter in a moderate condition. A hospital spokeswoman said the man was discharged last night.

Friends and family of the teen who died have shared their grief on social media.

One wrote on Facebook that she had tried to save him.

"I tried so hard I gave it everything I had. I love u baby bro," the woman wrote.

She also posted a photo of the pair together.

"I miss u already and I can't stop crying. You will always be my brother from another mother. Rest In Paradise Baby Bro."

Last night, a woman identifying herself as the teen's sister asked her friends on Facebook to pray for her brother.

"This occurred at Hunua Falls today and my family and I need your prayers."

It has been a horror summer in New Zealand's waters.

During the official Christmas holiday period, seven people drowned. Since the start of this year, 15 people have drowned.

A spate of drownings and injuries on one day last month prompted water safety experts to beg young men to stop overestimating their abilities or underestimating conditions.

On February 8 two people drowned and six others were injured in five separate incidents. One of the injured was an 18-year-old man who nearly drowned at Hunua Falls.

Water safety expert Kevin Moran of Auckland University said 80 per cent of all drownings in New Zealand were men, almost all aged between 15 and 45.

- by Cherie Howie


Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter