12 Jan 2013

Parents warn of river danger after son's death

6:49 am on 12 January 2013

The family of an Australian man who drowned in New Zealand are reminding people about the dangers of swimming in rivers.

The body of Mathew Slade, 21, from Melbourne was found on Thursday after he went missing in the Waikato River.

Mr Slade's parents describe him as an embodiment of health and fitness and a man who took life head on.

In a statement, Karen and Warwick Slade say that if one good thing were to come out of their son's death, it would be for people to take notice of water safety in rivers.

The statement said the family would like to pass on an important message about swimming in rivers.

"It doesn't matter how strong, fit and a good swimmer you are, rivers can be unpredictable and within seconds you can get into trouble regardless of how careful and sensible you are," the statement said.

Mathew Slade was an equestrian and was in New Zealand riding and training ponies for the Mounted Games world championships.