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Auckland swimmer was Canadian teacher

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/04/2017
Leslie Gelberger was killed while swimming at Narrow Neck Beach. © Supplied Leslie Gelberger was killed while swimming at Narrow Neck Beach.

The man who died while swimming off a North Shore beach, possible killed when he was struck by a pilot boat, was a Canadian teaching in New Zealand who leaves behind a widow and two sons.

Leslie Gelberger failed to return from a swim off Narrow Neck beach on Thursday afternoon.

Police are now investigating whether he was hit by a Ports of Auckland pilot boat after recovering his body from the water of Friday.

Fundraising pages have been set up in New Zealand and Canada for Mr Gelberger, who taught at Auckland's Westlake Girls High School.

A local Givealittle page, set up by Ms McLeod's friends, by Sunday morning had raised $6535 for the Mr Gelberger's widow Laura McLeod and their sons, aged seven and five

"As Leslie and Laura are Canadian their families are not in NZ and we feel Laura needs our support more than ever at this time," the organisers said.

A page, set up by Ms McLeod's sister Dawn, had raised $C4580 ($NZ4825) towards a $C10,000 goal for funeral costs and their sons' futures.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson has confirmed one of the company's boats was under police investigation over the man's death.

"I am extremely upset that one of our pilot boats may have been involved in the death of a swimmer," Mr Gibson said.

"I understand the pain this will have caused and I offer the family and friends of the swimmer my deepest sympathies for their tragic loss."

According to the port's website, it has three pilot boats, Akarana, Wakatere and Jack Guy.

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