Man drowns at popular Kerikeri swimming hole

A police officer interviews one of the man's companions at Charlie's Rock, a popular Kerikeri swimming hole. Photo / Peter de Graaf
A police officer interviews one of the man's companions at Charlie's Rock, a popular Kerikeri swimming hole. Photo / Peter de Graaf

The body of a young man who failed to surface after jumping off a waterfall at a Kerikeri swimming hole has been found.

Police said the 20-year-old man was with a group who went to the swimming hole at Charlie's Rock this afternoon. Once the group realised the man was missing they raised the alarm with police. He was last seen at about 2.45pm.

Police search and rescue and a commercial dive squad were called to the scene to help with the search. His body was located at about 6.40pm.

Police interview witnesses. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Police interview witnesses. Photo / Peter de Graaf

The man's whanau were at the scene and receiving support from victim support. A local kaumatua has blessed the area.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the matter will now be referred to the coroner

The incident is Northland's second suspected drowning of the year after a 53-year-old man died after getting into difficulties while body surfing about 4pm on Saturday.

It also comes just a day after a 16-year-old boy fell about 20m onto rocks while climbing Taheke Falls, in the Taheke Reserve, about 14km northeast of Whangarei. He was winched to safety by the Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter with a dislocated shoulder his only injury.

Charlie's Rock is a popular swimming hole reached by a five-minute walking track from Waipapa Landing. The waterfall is about 4m high but the rocks used for jumping are a few metres higher up.

At least 12 people drowned in Northland last year the same as in 2014 and two fewer than 2013. The region has around 2700km of coastline.

- NZ Herald

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