The body of a diver who went missing off the coast of Makara on Monday has been found.

Police yesterday said they still had hopes of finding the 24-year-old New Plymouth man alive after he failed to return from an afternoon diving at Makara Beach.

But those hopes were dashed today when the Police National Dive Squad recovered the man's body, two days after he was reported missing.

The man's family have been notified.

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Police said support from volunteer coastguard units, Surf Life Saving, Wellington LandSAR, local boaties, divers, and business owners was "exceptional".

"This is an incredibly sad time for the man's family and friends and we are thankful to be able to find him and bring them some form of closure," Wellington Police Maritime Unit Senior Sergeant David Houston said.

The man's death will be referred to the coroner.