A memorial service for a Wairarapa teenager who failed to surface while swimming in a turbulent river pool on Monday will be held at his former high school.

Friends of Jesse Barber, 19, made brave but unsuccessful attempts to save him after he became trapped underwater in the Ruamahanga River about 5pm.

His body was pulled from the river by police divers on Tuesday.

A death notice, published today, said a memorial service would be held at the Rathkeale College auditorium next Monday. Mr Barber was a former student at the school.

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The notice said Mr Barber was "tragically taken" and was dearly loved by his parents, grandparents, step-brothers and sisters, aunties, uncles, cousins and friends.

Another death notice said: "Jesse will be sadly missed by all of his extended family members."

His family did not wish to comment ahead of the service.

Rathkeale College principal Willy Kersten earlier described Mr Barber as "a very polite, gentle and unassuming young man who worked hard and did everything he possibly could do to achieve".