Kiwi presumed drowned near Melbourne

Photo / File / Thinkstock
Photo / File / Thinkstock

A search has resumed for a New Zealand man who is feared drowned after he jumped into rough seas to save a friend off a beach near Melbourne.

The 20-year-old student from New Zealand was standing on a rock at Pearse's Beach, near Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula, with his two friends when one of the them slipped into the water just after 2pm on Wednesday, Melbourne's Herald Sun reports.

A five-hour air and sea search failed to find him last night.

Sergeant Danny Lean told the Herald Sun the incident was a tragedy.

"These young men are obviously traumatised. They've lost their friend right in front of their eyes.

"Our main priority is to locate him, but at this stage it is just a recovery operation."

Australian emergency staff had been trying to contact the missing man's relatives in New Zealand.

A search involving a police helicopter, local officers and water police resumed at first light this morning.

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- Additional reporting by Newstalk ZB

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