17 Mar 2017

Australian boy swept into drain found dead

6:22 pm on 17 March 2017

An 11-year-old boy who disappeared in floodwaters in New South Wales has been found dead, police say.

Ryan Teasdale, 11, was last seen riding a boogie board on a Wollongong hill in heavy rain yesterday.

He was with more than a dozen other children, including his older brother, police said.

The children slid down a grass hill at Riley Park, Unanderra. It was believed Ryan was swept into a stormwater drain in the park about 4.30pm.

The drain did not have a grate on it.

Police said his body was found about 11.15am today (local time) in a creek bed at the end of the drain.

The boogie board was not with him.

Wollongong Mayor Gordon Bradbery said a grate could increase flooding, but several safety measures would be looked at it to prevent a recurrence.

"The message is, don't go into stormwater, avoid it," Mr Bradbery said.

"We don't know the depth of it, we don't know the volume of it or the speed but also what's in it."

Police and 100 emergency services personnel searched for Ryan. Robotic cameras searched drains.

One witness said she saw the children riding boogie boards down the hill.

"There were parents up there as well," said Andy, who lives across the road from the park.

"They were just riding the water down the hill and it does connect up to the drain if they go far enough… the water flows down the hill and into the drain."