A memorial service is expected to be held in Napier for Hawke's Bay man Nicholas John Porter who died in a thrillseeking bridge leap in the US at the weekend.

Having turned 30 in May, he is the son of Sandra and Bruce Porter, of Napier, and is also survived by wife of four years Nicole and a brother and sister.

Reports from the US say he died on Saturday Eastern Daylight Time after jumping off a popular bridge with thrillseekers near Lake Zoar, in Connecticut and about 140km northeast of New York.

He failed to resurface from a 6m jump from the steel-span bridge over a stream that empties into Lake Zoar, said Southbury Police Department resident state trooper supervisor Sergeant Brian Van Ness.


Emergency crews arrived on the scene just after 4pm and found the unconscious victim, along the shore, news outlet the Republican-American reported.

Police said witnesses pulled him out of the water before responders attempted to resuscitate him, but Porter remained unresponsive.

Porter, who went to Tamatea High School, was employed as an auto body technician at high-end crash repair company Fairfield Collision Centre in Fairfield, Connecticut, having studied mechanical engineering at the EIT in Taradale.

Facebook posts highlighted a popular and funny character with many friends, a workmate saying Porter was "one of the best people I have ever met".

"I had the pleasure of working with him, and was more so lucky enough to form a great friendship with him as well," he said.

"People can say Nick was the type of guy to give you the shirt off his back, but Nick would actually have given you the last shirt he owned.

"Thanks for teaching me NZ slang and sort of how Rugby & Cricket works. I'm sorry I thought you were Australian when I met you, and I'm forever grateful for the times we had and shared brother. As you'd say: 'Catch ya.' "

A family notice in Hawke's Bay Today describes Porter as a "young man taken too soon from two families", with "countless relatives and even more friends in two countries that had become his homes".


Since his death, the mourners have left bouquets of flowers and pink carnations at the foot of the bridge in memory of Porter.

A local told the Republican-American the bridge was a popular destination for young thrillseekers who often jump off the side into the shallow water.