Search efforts resume for teen swept out to sea

Hamish Paul Rieger (Facebook)
Hamish Paul Rieger (Facebook)

Police have confirmed the body of a teenager found in the water of Mt Maunganui was 17-year-old lifeguard and Mt Maunganui local Hamish Rieger.

Mr Rieger's body was found today after being swept off the rocks at Moturiki Island by a rogue wave around 7pm yesterday.

A 16-hour search ensued, and today his body was found by a member of the public at about 11am.

Coastguard and lifesavers were required to retrieve the body from the water.

Mr Rieger's parents, Greg and Donna, have thanked police and searchers for their efforts in finding their son, but have requested privacy while they grieve.

Mr Rieger was an experienced lifeguard in Mt Maunganui who took part in regional and national surf sport events.

The surf club president for Mt Maunganui, Brent Warner, says Mr Rieger was a talented young man, who had been working at the beach earlier yesterday.

"This is an extremely traumatic time for all club members, but [we are] doing all we possibly can to look after one of our lifeguarding families," he said.

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