26 Jan 2017

Body found in search for missing swimmer

4:34 pm on 26 January 2017

A body has been found in the search for a 21-year-old man who went swimming in the Waikato River early yesterday morning.

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A file photo of the Waikato River: A search has been under way for Hazael Mailata since yesterday. Photo: 123rf

Hazael Mailata and his friend were on the bank of the river when he went for a swim shortly before 3am yesterday.

Sergeant Vince Ranger said it was not known why he chose to enter the river.

He said the river level had been high for this time but had gone down overnight, making the search easier.

"The river's always underestimated. There's currents and eddies that people get caught in quite easily and that's what we're dealing with."

The body was yet to be formally identified.

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