A teenager died trying to save a dog while swimming in the Waikato River at Taupo yesterday.
The Napier youth and his friend, both 15, were swimming at Cherry Island when their dog began to tire. The boys swam further out to get it and one of them got into difficulty and disappeared under the surface, Taupo police said.
Groups of picnickers on the banks, Taupo Coastguard and local business people searched for the youth.
The youth was found after 30 minutes by a man who dove into very deep water to retrieve him from the riverbed, Sergeant Greg Weston said.
The youth could not be resuscitated.
At the time the river level had been flowing slowly and was not high.
The death has been referred to the Coroner and details would not be released until family were told.
The dog managed to get ashore.