Poice have identified the body found during a search for a swimmer who disappeared after he got into trouble in Lake Wanaka.

He was 26-year-old David Barry Fisher from Tauranga.

Poice said in a statement their thoughts were with his family.

The death has been referred to the Coroner.

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Police were advised that a man had gone missing just off Stevensons Island at midday on December 15 while trying to retrieve a drifting boat.

The Police National Dive Squad found the body at 3.30pm yesterday, not far from where the man went missing.

The Police National Dive Squad searched the lake yesterday afternoon and were assisted by the harbourmaster.

A shoreline search was also carried out on the island.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said yesterday it was terrible when things like this happened in the district.

"Everybody, I'm sure, is thinking about him and his family," Boult said.

Area response manager Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said on Friday that the man was on Stevensons Island when he swam out to retrieve a drifting boat but then got into trouble.

Another person swam out to help him but that person wasn't able to locate him, he said.

LandSAR volunteers also helped look for the man.