The body of missing Kiwi Rhys Cochrane has been found under the superyacht he was working on off the coast of Cannes in southern France.

The 24-year-old had been taking a break from work when he went swimming but didn't return and a search was launched on Monday night.

On Thursday, the search was officially called off and a family friend set up a Givealittle page to raise money to continue the hunt for his body.

But today, the page announced Cochrane's body had been found by a private search. The friend thanked those who had helped to fund the search.

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"The main focus now is to bring him home to Hahei.

"We're not sure what's involved with this yet - but all remaining funds will be dedicated to these ongoing costs for Rhys's family."

The friend said Cochrahne was a competent and experienced swimmer and diver.

"Swimming from the yacht was not an unusual thing for him or the crew to do on a daily basis."

Cochrane grew up in Hahei, in Coromandel, and worked in the family-owned dive business.

More than $33,000 has been raised by almost 300 donors on the Givealittle page.

"Thank you all for the generous support, it's been phenomenal to see," the page said.

Cochrane made the news in 2012 when he rescued an orca from being tangled in fishing nets.