Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Tragedy on the water at Raglan

Tributes are flowing for a teenager who tragically died after jumping from a bridge - and popular swimming spot - in Raglan today.

The 16-year-old, who is yet to be named by authorities, was among a group of teenagers jumping from Te Kopua Bridge.

READ MORE: Swimmer drowns near Okere Falls

Friends and family members have begun paying tribute to the young man, who many acknowledge was a nice, happy kid who enjoyed the water.

One teen wrote: "Bro, I know we weren't very good friends, but I know we were close enough for me to call you a brother. Haere atu ra my brother. We will miss you."

A relative said she was "hurting hard" following the news of her young cousin's sudden death.

"You will always be in my heart, cousin ... Love you forever."

The boy died after he was struck by another bridge jumper and became submerged.

Friends and family located the boy 10 minutes later.

Emergency services battled for up to an hour to resuscitate the boy but he could not be saved.

"They've taken him away ... family and friends sang a waiata," Herald reporter Belinda Feek said from the scene.

Earlier, Constable Raewyn McLachlan described what police had been told following the incident about 12.20pm.

"He jumped off the walk bridge, and another person has jumped on him and he's been submerged. People have pulled him out and the paramedics and firefighters are doing CPR on him now."

Sushi Takeaways Raglan staff member Eli Shilai said a tarpaulin was held over the boy as attempts were made to save him being held by several people near the jetty at Bow St.

Ambulance crews worked on the teen for up to an hour but he could not be saved. Photo / Belinda Feek
Ambulance crews worked on the teen for up to an hour but he could not be saved. Photo / Belinda Feek

Some of those at the scene were visibly distressed, Miss Shilai said.

"Some people, they are crying ... I heard people saying they couldn't find him for 20 minutes. Someone said it didn't look good.

Jahvik Leng-Ware, 16, and Reiki Ruawai, 16 went to school with the 16-year-old boy who drowned after jumping off the footbridge. Photo / Belinda Feek
Jahvik Leng-Ware, 16, and Reiki Ruawai, 16 went to school with the 16-year-old boy who drowned after jumping off the footbridge. Photo / Belinda Feek

Reiki Ruawai and Jahvik Leng-Ware attended Raglan Area School with the 16-year-old who drowned in the town this morning.

Reiki said he was at home when he heard the news and came straight down to the jetty at the end of Bow St.

The victim's friends, cousins and other relatives at the scene formed a circle and sing a waiata in his honour as emergency services held up a tarpaulin.

Reiki and Jahvik said the teen was one of the nicest boys they knew and was always keen for a laugh.

The pair were visibly upset when they spoke to the Herald and said they were unsure how their friend's death would affect them when they had to jump off the bridge next.

The accident hasn't stopped others from jumping off the bridge. The hot weather has drawn thousands to the beachside town to cool off and many are continuing to jump.

Video emerged earlier this week of Raglan residents taking part in a unique TPP protest with a "chain bomb".

- NZ Herald

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