Whangarei Falls in Northland, New Zealand. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Filipino student drowned last Friday while swimming with his friends at Whangarei Falls in Northland, New Zealand. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement that 26-year-old Kent Espinosa, who was studying in Auckland, was swimming with his friends at the waterfall when he drowned.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs extends its condolences to the loved ones of Filipino student Kent Espinosa, who drowned in New Zealand last Friday,” the DFA said.

At 4:30 pm on Friday, police were called to the area and a search and rescue operation was conducted. The search was halted that evening and resumed with the Police Dive Squad on Saturday, the New Zealand Herald reported.

At about 1:45 pm on Saturday, Espinosa’s body was recovered from Whangarei Falls. A friend who was with Espinosa on Friday said they were out swimming at the falls when he encountered difficulties.

According to the DFA, the Philippine Embassy in Wellington was coordinating with New Zealand authorities for the issuance of appropriate visas for Espinosa’s sister, who will fly from the Philippines to bring home his remains.

Earlier this week, a Filipino couple who recently married drowned while snorkeling during their honeymoon in the Maldives. The couple were rescued but were in bad shape when brought out of the water. They were declared dead when they were taken to a local hospital.

Read: Filipino newlyweds drown near resort in the Maldives

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