Body found in search for missing swimmer near Coromandel's Opoutere Beach

  • 21/01/2023

A body has been found in the water near Opoutere Beach, north of Whangamatā.

It has ended the search and rescue operation for a teenager who disappeared during a group rescue on Wednesday.

A police spokesperson said they were alerted at about 1:30pm following the discovery by a member of the public near Slipper Island/Whakahau.

While formal identification has yet to occur, the police believe the body is likely that of a swimmer who went missing on Wednesday.

Emergency services responded to reports of a group of seven people in trouble at Opoutere Beach on Wednesday.

Six people were rescued from the sea: one in a serious but stable condition, who was airlifted to Waikato Hospital, four in minor to moderate conditions, and another who later died.

The seventh person was missing.

"Police would like to thank all those involved in this operation including our partner agencies, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, NZ Coastguard, LandSAR, FENZ, and the Royal New Zealand Navy," the police spokesperson said.

Police are unable to release any further information at this time and the death will be referred to the Coroner.