Body of missing tourist found in Waikato river

Waikato River. Photo / Doug Sherring
Waikato River. Photo / Doug Sherring

The body of an Australian tourist who went missing while swimming in the Waikato River last night has been found by police.

Twenty-one-year-old Melbourne man Mathew Slade got into trouble while swimming near the Full James Rapid downstream from the Aratiatia Dam at about 6.15pm.

Police said he called for help, but when a female companion arrived at the riverbank the man had disappeared.

The Police National Dive Team discovered his body today at about 2pm in the river close to where he was last seen.

Slade's parents flew in this morning and have been staying close to the scene waiting for news, police said.

Slade had been in New Zealand since December 22 and was planning on staying until March to train and ride ponies for the World Championships of the Equestrian Mounted Games.

He had already represented Australia in the sport and was gearing up to compete in a pairs event this weekend.


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