Drownings at an all-time high

Hepisipa Tupou. Image / Supplied

Drownings in New Zealand are at an all-time high as a young man has drowned in the Waikato river, Hamilton.

Twenty-three-year-old Hepisipa Tupou and his friends were swimming in the river on Saturday when he got into difficulty while crossing to the other side.

Tupou’s family saw him struggle and go under as another person tried to rescue him.

Hamilton Police recovered his body on Tuesday morning after calls to the public shortly after 7am.

The man is one of 17 people to drown in New Zealand waters so far this year, with three drownings over the span of five days.

Water Safety New Zealand CEO Matt Claridge says: “This a shocking start to the year, seven more than the previous year, it is a timely reminder for New Zealander’s to stop and think about water safety, especially if you are not a confident swimmer.”

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