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A 27 year old man drowned this afternoon at the Waitawheta Rd waterfalls in the Waikino Gorge near Waihi.
The man was one of a group swimming below the falls when he became trapped underwater by the current. Police were notified of the emergency at 12.23pm.
A police highway patrol officer arrived eight minutes after the call and assisted three would-be rescuers from the water before entering the water again with a rope obtained from a passing motorist. With the assistance of another man, the victim was located and pulled to the riverbank. CPR was started then continued by ambulance staff on their arrival. The man was unable to be resuscitated.
Police are presently speaking with other members of the group to clarify the circumstances leading up to the tragedy. Next-of-kin will have to be located and informed before any further details can be released.