Police recover body of missing man at Lake Rotoiti

Police divers search the waters of Lake Rotoiti.
Barry Grouby

Police divers search the waters of Lake Rotoiti.

Family of a drowned man missing for a week in the waters of Lake Rotoiti are happy to have him home, police say.

The body of Colin McCormick, 48, was recovered from the lake east of Rotorua on Thursday morning at the edge of the search area police have been scouring for the last week. 

The Auckland-based, Tokoroa-raised, father was on the way to the hot pools on the southern side of the lake with his partner and son when he went into the water to retrieve his hat last Wednesday afternoon. 

In windy choppy conditions the "strong swimmer" got into trouble and disappeared. 

Constable Colin Fraser said a land search and rescue team out on the water on the BayTrust rescue boat discovered the body around 7am. 

He was located at the Otaramarae end of the lake. 

"They've been out first thing in the morning and last thing at night," Fraser said from the lakeside on Thursday morning.

Fraser said family, who were seen leaving the lakeside about 9am, "were pleased to have him back". 

They also thanked locals for their support over the last week. 

"They opened their homes and supplied food and drinks.

"Its been a long search, hard for the family but they're an incredible family, they've rallied round and supported each other."

The lake was blessed by Te Ariki Morehu - Te Arawa kaumatua.

The death will now be referred to the Coroner.

"Police extend their thoughts to Mr McCormick's family at this time," police said in a statement. 

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