A teenager drowned after courageously trying to rescue a girl who got into trouble in Waikato River.
Police say the 18-year-old, Taihape's Logan Ken Hughes, tried to save the life of a 12-year-old girl from Waikato River on Friday, December 18, however he then himself got into trouble in the water.
Another person jumped in and helped the girl to safety, police say.
"Later, in trying conditions, several rescuers worked tremendously hard to retrieve the 18-year-old from about 7m of water," police said.
"CPR was performed for 40 minutes and medical staff did all they could to save him, but he died in hospital. This is terrible news for the family of the young man who died," they said.
"The attempted rescue was an instinctive display of humanity. We send our condolences to his relatives."
Whanganui Rugby Club has paid tribute to Hughes on his Facebook page. "Logan was a promising rugby player and all-round great sportsperson. He will be sadly missed by many," the post said.
Palmerston North Boys' High School's College House has also expressed its sadness over his death. Hughes was a boarder between 2015 and 2018.
"Our love and thoughts are with the Hughes family," a Facebook post said.
Palmerston North Boys' High School rector David Bovey said Hughes was a polite, respectful young man who was really sociable and his death had left he school shaken.
Hughes left the school at the end of Year 12 to begin an apprenticeship - but some of the younger boarders and teammates had only finished at the school this year.
Bovey said he loved his rugby first and foremost and preferred being on the field than in the classroom.
Bovey said his death had shocked the school and some of his former teammates had met up earlier in the week at one of the boys' houses to reminisce.
"He got on with a lot of boys in his year group and I know a lot of them have got together to talk about going up tomorrow to go to the funeral."
He also planned to attend the funeral.
Logan's funeral service is to be held on Wednesday, December 23 at St Mary's Church in Taihape.
Senior Constable Barry Shepherd is warning people about the dangers of swimming in the fast-flowing river.
His warning comes after a second incident earlier in the week when a group of swimmers got into trouble swimming down from the Taupō Control Gates Bridge also in the Waikato River.
The group split up and it was wrongly thought that one of them had got into difficulty.
A full-scale search involving a helicopter was carried out but due to miscommunication the person was later discovered at a home.
"These incidents also have a profound impact on the bystanders in the area, as well as the first responders who attend," Shepherd said.
"We're not out to stop anyone from having fun, but we want people to pause and consider: if you're getting in the water, are you confident of getting yourself out?"
Shepherd said while it was a beautiful river and a perfect place to cool off this summer, there were dangers and people needed to pay attention to the signs posted by the river.