Man drowns in Kawerau river after police chase

The man died at the scene.
The man died at the scene. Photo credit: File

A man has drowned in the Tarawera River in Kawerau following a police chase.

Police say a 24-year-old man with a warrant to arrest was sighted in the Bay of Plenty town around 1:30pm. 

The man fled from police, running towards the Tarawera River. He jumped into the water, but quickly got into difficulty.

Kawerau Sergeant Al Fenwick told the Whakatane Beacon the man was pursued by police on foot when he jumped into the river, but he failed to resurface.

Police confirmed that CPR was conducted on the man after he was pulled him from the water. 

He died at the scene.

A St John media spokeswoman told Newshub they were called by police to a reported drowning in Tarawera River around 2:00pm on Thursday.

The spokeswoman said St John assisted with the incident but did not treat a patient.

It is understood that officers are still at the scene. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death is underway.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified.

More to come.