Teen lifeguard Hamish Rieger has been farewelled by close to 1000 friends and family members at a requiem mass held at St Thomas More Catholic Church.

Lining the entrance to the church was a sea of yellow and red, a guard of honour to farewell the 17-year-old who was swept to sea on Saturday.

Hamish's charm, cheekiness and giving nature were remembered at the mass in a church jam-packed with people. The church's foyer and outside entrance had to be used so all who loved Hamish could be there at his goodbye.

There was not a dry eye in sight as Hamish's Mount Maunganui College school friends and fellow lifeguards broke out into a passionate haka before his casket was carried away on the back of an IRB towed by a ute.

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A requiem mass held at St Thomas More Catholic Church for Hamish Rieger. Photo/Andrew Warner
A requiem mass held at St Thomas More Catholic Church for Hamish Rieger. Photo/Andrew Warner

Police officers in formal dress with police dogs were part of the guard of honour.

Tomorrow, a tribute will be held for Hamish Rieger before the surf lifesaving Eastern Regional Championships begin on Mount Main Beach at 7.30am.

Teen lifeguard Hamish Rieger has been farewelled by close to 1000 friends and family members at a requiem mass held at St Thomas More Catholic Church.