Tourist drowns in rescue attempt

A Korean tourist has drowned after trying to save two children who got into difficulty in a river near Gisborne.

The 41-year-old man disappeared under water at the Rere Rockfall on Wharekopae Road, 50km north-west of Gisborne at about 3.30pm yesterday. 

Police say the man drowned after his eight-year-old son and another boy slid down the rockfall into a rockpool and got into difficulty.

He jumped in after them fully-clothed and was able to push them to the side of the pool and to safety. 

Witnesses say the man then got into difficulty himself and disappeared under the water.

Local farmers helped with the initial search after other visitors to the rockfall alerted emergency services.

The police dive squad recovered the man's body about 12.30am today.

The man and his family were visiting the Gisborne area with a larger family group.