Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Schoolboy drowns at popular Taupo swimming spot

Photo / File
Photo / File

A teenage boy drowned in the Waikato River while swimming with a group of friends after school yesterday.

The boy, understood to be 15 years old, had been at a popular swimming spot near the Taupo Control Gates bridge around 4.30pm.

The alarm was raised when he jumped off a bank into the water and failed to surface.

About 9pm, members of the boy's family and the local iwi, Tuwharetoa, prayed at the scene as divers retrieved his body.

It was found by the Taupo Harbourmaster and Taupo rescue helicopter about half an hour after he went missing.

The national dive squad was needed to recover the body safely.

Senior Sergeant Tony Jeurissen said the boy had been with a group of teenagers when the accident happened.

The youth was a student at nearby Taupo-nui-a-Tia College.

It is understood his family are from Turangi.

- NZ Herald

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