Police are now focused on retrieving the body of the teenage boy who went missing in the water off Sumner Beach, Christchurch.
The 14-year-old boy was reported missing at 3:20pm on Monday.
Police now say the incident is being treated as a recovery operation.
Around 20 police and rescue staff searched the shoreline, and surf lifesaving volunteers are searching the water between Sumner and Taylors Mistake on Tuesday.
A rescue helicopter and surf lifesavers had been actively searching the Sumner area for the boy on Monday.
The search was scaled back after all search areas were exhausted. It was started again at first light on Tuesday.
It is believed another boy who was with the missing boy at the time of his disappearance alerted emergency services.
The boy's elder sister, who did not want to be named, was among friends and family who frantically scoured the shore and coastline in the hours after the incident.
She told Stuff, "I'm not going home until he's home. I just want him home."
Canterbury metro area Commander Superintendent Lane Todd says this has been a very difficult time for this young man's family and police are continuing to liaise closely with them.
Sumner Beach is a popular swimming and surfing destination in the east of the city.
In December three people were rescued from the beach after becoming caught in a rip.