A man is dead after getting into trouble while swimming in the Waikato River this afternoon.

Senior Sergeant Peter van de Wetering said emergency services were called to the scene at the beach on Malcolm St in Riverlea, south-east Hamilton, about 4.45pm.

The man, thought to be in his 40s, had been seen by numerous witnesses swimming in the river.

He had given them no cause for concern until he vanished from sight.


"It appears he's swum across the river from the city side to the other side and back again," van de Wetering said.

"At some point as he's nearly made it back to the city side he's got into a bit of bother."

When seen again a few minutes later the man was in the water and non-responsive.

Members of the public went to his aid and contacted emergency services.

Paramedics performed CPR but the man could not be revived.

The man was thought to be a local but his identity was yet to be confirmed.