Friends mourn stu­dent af­ter falls drown­ing

Bay of Plenty Times - - NATION - Lin­coln Tan (pic­tured),

Rel­a­tives and friends are mourn­ing the death of Filipino in­ter­na­tional stu­dent Kenny Espinosa af­ter a body was re­cov­ered on Satur­day at Whangarei Falls.

The stu­dent’s death is one of at least 12 wa­ter-re­lated deaths in New Zealand in three weeks.

Myreen Cordova, his cousin in the Philip­pines, con­tacted the Her­ald shortly af­ter the news broke that he had gone miss­ing.

Early yes­ter­day morn­ing New Zealand time, Cordova posted on Face­book: “For those who sym­pa­thise in time of our grief . . . please do help us in pray­ing for Kenny’s soul. May God bless us all.” A friend who was with Espinosa on Fri­day said they were swim­ming at the falls when Espinosa en­coun­tered dif­fi­cul­ties and went un­der. He was in Whangarei for a sum­mer break from study­ing in Auck­land.

The Po­lice Dive Squad re­cov­ered a body be­lieved to be that of Espinosa. Po­lice were yet to for­mally iden­tify the vic­tim at edi­tion time last night. Mean­while, an­other per­son died in a wa­ter-re­lated death in North­land on the week­end — bringing to at least 12 the num­ber of wa­ter-re­lated deaths in New Zealand in the past three weeks.

In the lat­est in­ci­dent, a fish­er­man died in the Bream Bay area south of Whanga¯rei. Po­lice were called to Ruakaka at 7.06am af­ter a fish­er­man ap­peared to get into dif­fi­culty while re­triev­ing fish­ing nets. The man died at the scene.

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