Updated: Search for man in river at Taupo

By Matthew Martin

FILE
FILE

The Police National Dive Squad and Taupo Coastguard are to tomorrow decide whether to continue searching the Waikato River after a man went missing on Saturday night.

Dive squad members arrived around midday today to resume their search for a man who reportedly swam into the Waikato River while visiting a free natural hot pool at Spa Park around 9pm last night.

Apparently he had left the relative safety of the pools and had swum into the main flow of the Waikato River, but did not get back to the river bank.

Senior Constable Barry Shepherd, of Taupo, said police, the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter, Coastguard Lake Taupo and Land Search and Rescue Taupo volunteers searched for the man last night and today but were unsuccessful.

Mr Shepherd said the identity of the missing man was not known and no one had yet been reported missing.

He said the man could have swum to Reids Farm about 1km downstream and got out of the river there.

He appealed to members of the public for any information that might help searches or establish the man's identity or location.

"We still haven't heard from anyone who knows the person."

Police received credible information from other swimmers at the hot pool who witnessed his disappearance about 200m downstream.

"However, if this person has swum successfully from Spa Park to Reids Farm, police are pleading for him to call."

The natural hot pool at Spa Park is where the Otumuheke Stream flows into the Waikato River, and is a popular attraction.

About 20 people were at the pools when the man disappeared.

Mr Shepherd said tonight the police would now reassess what further action might be required.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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