Police have found the body of the swimmer who went missing at Maketu Waterfall near Ramarama yesterday.

Police said the body of a man in his 50's was located this morning and his next of kin are being advised.

The man went missing yesterday just before 5pm after he went under the water in the swimming hole off Pratts Rd, and failed to surface.

The deceased is believed to be Eddie Proosten.


Brother Shane Proosten told Stuff the incident was a "genuine mistake".

"We have lost a brother, father and uncle," he said.

Proosten told Stuff the family were at the falls until 1am, hoping his brother would be pulled from the water. They returned by 8am.

The death has been referred to the Coroner.

Police staff and the dive squad are also continuing their efforts to locate a man who went missing in the water at Hunua Falls yesterday afternoon.

The man was said to have been swept into the waterfall around 3pm.

Land Search and Rescue and the police Eagle helicopter have been involved in the search.

Police staff and the dive squad are continuing their efforts to locate a man at Hunua Falls. Photo / File
Police staff and the dive squad are continuing their efforts to locate a man at Hunua Falls. Photo / File

Police have cordoned off the falls area while emergency services search for the missing man.


Hunua Falls: beautiful but dangerous

The falls are found to the southeast of Auckland city but their scenic setting provides a mask over their dark history.

The waterfall is 30 metres high and the pool beneath is almost 20 metres deep, featuring a steep drop-off where many swimmers have got into difficulty.

In 2016, two teenagers died at the popular swimming spot in separate incidents, prompting calls for Auckland Council to restrict access.

Peter Lemalu, 17, and Lilatoni Vetemotu, 13, both died at the falls within several days of each other.

Their deaths resulted in a plea to close the swimming hole, but that was unsuccessful.

In April 2016, Auckland Council parks manager Mark Bowater told the Herald there were no plans to fence the falls or assign lifeguards.

"It's an incredibly scenic, beautiful spot [but lifeguards] are not being seriously considered, so there's no fundamental change to the site."

He said using lifeguards would send the message that people were encouraged to swim there, when the council recommends people avoid doing so.

Several combining factors make the falls hazardous to swimmers.

Bowater said the extreme variations in depth meant swimmers could go from waist-deep water around the edge to depths of up to 19m in one step.

"We've got very deep water there, that's one of the main hazards.

"There's a sharp drop-off from the edges. There are some shallow edges that are quite visible and there are even rocks where you can cross from one side to the other but they are slippery.

"You've got a sharp drop down to that deepest point."

As fresh water hits the pool from the falls' 30m drop it aerates, making it less buoyant.

While there are no known deaths at Maketu Waterfall, a woman was rescued early this month after falling down the waterfall.

The woman, in her 20s, was winched out of the pool by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter on January 6.

She suffered "multiple injuries" during the fall and was flown to Middlemore Hospital in a moderate condition.