Police have confirmed that the body found on Bethells Beach is that of missing swimmer Johnny Perese Faitaua.
Faitaua, 23, was swimming at the beach with his girlfriend on Thursday afternoon when he got into difficulty near the northern end of the bay and was swept under the water.
Crew in a police helicopter spotted a body in the water at around 11.40am on Monday, off the Bethells and O’Neills Beach peninsula near Auckland.
Faitaua’s mother, Lisa Faitaua, last spoke to her son on Thursday, telling him to “be careful son, that beach is dangerous”.
Northern Region Surf Life Saving manager David Butt said: “It is such a tragic event, but a reminder to people to make sure they swim between the flags at all times.”
Faitaua was in his second year studying music at Massey University and a talented keyboard and piano player.
The death will be referred to the coroner.