Fears grow for missing fisherman swept from rocks at Whatipū beach

Whatipū beach on the west coast of Auckland.
Whatipū beach on the west coast of Auckland. Photo credit: Google Maps

A search and rescue operation is underway after a fisherman was washed off the rocks at Whatipū beach on Sunday afternoon.

The incident was reported to police at around 1:45pm.

Auckland resident and fisherman Jere Alonso has urged people to invest in life jackets following the incident, posting in the Facebook group 'NZ Surfcasting and Rockfishing' on Sunday evening.

"Pretty sad day today aye. He tried to go to the edge to cast longer... no life jacket but he knew how to swim and eventually got tired," Alonso wrote.

"His body was floating and it was nowhere to be found before [the] helicopter came to [the] rescue. West coast is no joke.

"Please, please whānau, invest and buy a life jacket."

A Police Eagle helicopter, the Coast Guard and LandSAR are involved in the operation at Auckland's Ninepin Rock. The search and rescue effort is ongoing.