South Korean tourist drowns in New Zealand

A South Korean man is believed to have drowned at the weekend after diving in to a popular river attraction to save his two children.

South Korean tourist drowns in New Zealand

A South Korean man is believed to have drowned at the weekend after diving in to a popular river attraction to save his two children.

The tragedy happened at about 3pm yesterday at the bottom of the Rere Rock slide on the Wharekopae River 50 kilometres north west from Gisborne.

“The victim, his wife and their two children, with another young relative, were holidaying in Gisborne,” said search co-ordinator Sergeant Greg Lexmond. They had gone to the slide after reading a brochure about the tourist attraction which is one of the AA Travelguide’s 101 Must-Do’s for Kiwis.

“The children had wanted to experience it,” he said.

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Two of the children, under the age of 10, had gone down the slide when they got into trouble in the deep pool at the bottom.

“Their father, aged 43, jumped in and managed to push them both back to the safety of the bank, but then he disappeared under the water,” Sgt Lexmond said.

“He disappeared immediately and went straight under the water.”

The man’s distraught wife gathered up the children and went to a nearby farm house to raise the alarm.

“She was extremely traumatised, they all were extremely upset as you can imagine.”

The national police dive squad was called in and arrived at midnight. The body was found after 10 minutes’ searching in about eight to nine metres of water.

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