1 Dec 2010

Teen's body found in North Shore lake

4:41 pm on 1 December 2010

Police have found the body of a 17-year-old boy who went missing after jumping into Lake Pupuke on Auckland's North Shore.

The body of Raphael Alualu, of Mt Roskill, was found at the bottom of the quarry lake about 10.30am on Tuesday.

The teenager had jumped into the water from a point near Shea Terrace about 3pm on Tuesday.

Police say the jump point was about seven to 10 metres above the lake. The teenager went under the surface, resurfaced briefly then disappeared again.

The police dive squad from Wellington was brought in to search the lake.

Raphael Alualu is of Samoan descent and was a student at a private training institute, School of Business, based in Newmarket.

He was on an organised outing with others from a youth programme.

Police say that, after an indoor game session, an impromptu decision was made to go for a swim in the lake. They said the teenager was not a strong swimmer.

Area 'dangerous'

The local board chariperson for Devonport Takapuna says the quarry area is popular with young people, despite being known to be dangerous.

Chris Darby says there have been instances where wire cutters have been used to get over the fence and signs put in place by the the former North Shore City Council have been removed.

The North Shore Squad Club is located near Shea Terrace, where the teenager jumped from.

Club president Pat Menzies says the cliff is a dangerous place to jump from and he has repeatedly warned swimmers not to leap into the lake from such a height.

The Department of Labour is making initial inquiries to decide whether it will investigate the death.

Police are speaking to family members and interviewing a number of people who witnessed the incident.

They say arrangements have been made for a Samoan priest to visit the scene with family members and a local kaumatua will also visit the lake on Wednesday.