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Woman swept away in Waikato River named

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/02/2017

A woman swept to her death while swimming in the Waikato River has been named by police.

Aucklander Rachael Louise De Jong, 21, was one of four friends caught out when a floodgate at the Aratiatia Dam, north of Taupo, opened at noon on Monday, sweeping them down the river.

Three of the group, all also in their early 20s, managed to make it to the riverbank, but Ms De Jong's body was later found downstream.

Police and Mercury Energy say a warning siren went off before the floodgate opened and there were signs warning against swimming posted in the area.

The death has been referred to the coroner.

The incident happened during one of the several times the gates open each day on a regular schedule.

It was one of four other water deaths across the country over Waitangi weekend.

Police on Tuesday also named a man who died after coming up from a dive near Tolaga Bay, north of Gisborne, as 54-year-old Wiremu Tuakana Teneti-Northover of Outer Kaiti.

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