Search continues for missing swimmer at the Mount
Update 8.30am: The search for a missing swimmer near Mt Maunganui resumed at first light this morning.
The man failed to return to shore just after 10am yesterday after swimming with two others at Marine Parade.
"Yesterday's search, utilising Police, Surf Life Saving Club members, the Coastguard and a rescue helicopter, was unsuccessful," says Police Constable Kurt Waugh.
"Police search and rescue staff are being assisted today by Surf Life Saving Club members from Mt Maunganui, Papamoa and Omanu utilising inflatable rescue boats.
"Sea conditions are challenging with swells of up to a metre-and-a-half causing visibility issues for searchers," says Constable Waugh.
Anyone who notices anything of interest that might assist in the search is asked to contact Police.
Lifeguards in IRBs are assisting with the search. Photo: Colin McGonagle
Earlier 7.30am The search is resuming at Mount Maunganui this morning for a swimmer who went missing yesterday.
Lifeguards were alerted by police to a missing swimmer along the Mount Maunganui coast just after 10.30am on Saturday.
Call-out squads from the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, Omanu and Papamoa Surf Clubs responded and up to six IRB (inflatable rescue boats), a jetski, two all-terrain vehicles and more than 30 lifeguards were asked by police to search the surrounding area.
Photo: Colin McGonagle
Lifeguards were stood down early in the evening, as darkness began to fall, but are expecting to be back helping police at first light, if needed.
Veteran lifeguards described the conditions as very challenging, with a 1.5m swell and a strong drift south along the coast, with a prominent gutter near where the swimmer was last seen.
The TECT Rescue Helicopter was also part of the search on Saturday.
TECT Rescue helicopter. Photo: Supplied
It's not known if the person was swimming with a group, but a police spokesperson believed the first report of the swimmer being missing came from someone not known to them.
On Saturday groups of people congregated on the beach, waiting and watching the search.
Family members were being supported by police during the search on Saturday.
It is too early to give further details about the missing swimmer, a police spokesperson says.
Photo: Colin McGonagle