Emergency services continue search for girl missing in Hokitika River

High winds and large swells are on Thursday night hampering search efforts for a young girl swept out to sea on the West Coast.

Police were called at 9:45am and one person has since been pulled from the water. The other person, a nine-year-old girl, has not been located.

Coastguard, police search and rescue, LandSAR, Maritime NZ and a rescue helicopter have all been looking for the missing child.

"The nine-year-old has gone out into the current and out and about and has gone into the sea," Senior Sergeant Brent Cook told Newshub.

Neither were wearing life jackets, and the conditions have made searching difficult. Those involved have been dealing with poor visibility, 35-knot winds and five-metre swells.

Conditions have made searching difficult.
Conditions have made searching difficult. Photo credit: Newshub.

The gale-force winds are forecast to drop 10 knots, but not until Thursday morning, when the search will continue.

"We've had quite a good search, but now we're putting together a detailed beach air and water search and we're coordinating that," Snr Sgt Cook said.