There are concerns for the safety of a Takaka freedom camper, known locally as Hemi, who has been reported missing.

A search is underway near the Takaka River, after friends reported James Rano Dick missing on Thursday afternoon.

He was last seen at 3.30pm on Wednesday afternoon, waist deep in water, by the crusher plant below the rapids in the river.

He was only wearing khaki cargo pants at the time, is 180cm tall, with long dreadlocks and distinctive large neck tattoos.

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The freedom camper had told his friends he was just going for a walk along the other side of the river - but when he failed to return to his freedom camping spot, his friends alerted police.

Police have made appeals for any further sightings of the man on social media, but said there were no further sightings.

Two LandSAR teams and the river was searched by a kayak team on Friday, with searching continuing this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Nelson Police on 03 546 3840.