24 Jan 2015

Gisborne beach search suspended for night

10:05 pm on 24 January 2015

Darkness has forced suspension of the main search for the second of two men missing after a drowning tragedy at Makorori Beach north of Gisborne today.

A full-scale search will resume in the morning.

Makorori beach.

Makorori beach. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The police have confirmed the two victims of the tragedy are brothers and are from Gisborne.

The body of the 21-year-old was found about half an hour after they and a friend got into trouble 100 metres offshore in metre plus surf at Makorori Beach mid-morning.

A family friend was able to get safely to shore while the younger brother, aged 18, remains unaccounted for and a search has so far found no sign of him.

Police will carry out some shoreline sweeps over night and the police national dive squad from Wellington has arrived in Gisborne, they will join the search in the morning.

Police do not expect to be able to release the names of the victims untill some time tomorrow at the earliest.

Senior sergeant Clint Adamson of the Eastern District Police Command Centre said initial reports had the surf at two-to-three metres high at the time of the tragedy.

He said there could have been a also been a rip at the time.

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