Drowned man had been drinking

A man who drowned in the Whanganui River had been drinking, but how much alcohol was in his system has still to be confirmed, police say.

Shaun Robert McIvor, 46, was swimming with friends at Mosquito Pt, about 5 kilometres upstream from Whanganui on Friday when he went missing.

He had intended to swim across the river, a distance of about 50 metres, and jump off a nearby cliff, Sergeant Colin Wright said.

His friends lost sight of McIvor and shortly afterwards and swam across the river to try to find him.

A search was carried out during Friday afternoon and the next day, with police divers finding McIvor's body about 1.30pm on Saturday.

McIvor had been at a popular swimming spot, and the river had been calm and slow moving when he drowned. Others who swam in the same area reported no obstructions, and the weather was good with little wind, Wright said.

As far as police were aware, McIvor did not have any medical issues that would have affected him while he was swimming, Wright said.

Friends said he had been drinking, but until an autopsy was carried out it would not be known how much alcohol was in his system.

The matter has been referred to the coroner.

Fairfax Media