A large search which began to look for a missing surfer is now on hold after everyone in the water got out safely.
A rescue helicopter, Far North surf lifesaving crews, police and fire began looking for the surfer after he was reported missing about 2.40pm.
A police spokesperson said they were advised that the surfer "had potentially been caught in a rip".
"Police were alerted by people on the beach.
"There are a number of resources deployed to assist in the search - a helicopter, two surf IRBs, a fire appliance and three police units."
Far North Surf Lifesaving spokesman Tony Walker was busy with the search when the Herald called and confirmed, at 5.35pm, that they were still searching for the surfer.
However, a spokesperson confirmed that at 6.25pm all the surfers known to be in the water had got themselves out.
The search has now been put on hold unless someone is reported missing.
Earlier, Ahipara local Doug Klever, of Ahipara Tides Absolute Beachfront Accommodation, said he noticed a helicopter out over the water a couple of hours ago and wondered what it was doing.
"The helicopter was flying out the front of my house for maybe five minutes.
"He went up north and then he came down by the beach, just maybe 100m to the south of me, and stayed there for about four to five minutes and then he just meandered down the beach, maybe about 400 feet in the air."
"I thought it was really weird ... he was just hovering out from the surf break."
The chopper then continued to fly slowly south, down the beach for about 800m.
The surf had been "massive" the last 24 hours and he knew that would draw surfers from around the area.
He'd noticed a tonne of cars parked at Shipwreck Bay and said conditions were perfect at the moment.
"It's just big, good surf, big waves, big swell. The weather hasn't been windy either."
It's the first time he's heard of a surfer go missing at Ahipara in the 23 years he had lived there since moving to Northland from the mountains of Idaho in the United States.
"If somebody went missing surfing, I have been here 23 years, and it would be the first time I have heard of it."
As at 6pm, he couldn't see or hear any emergency service crews but expected them to be further south toward the popular surf spot of Shipwreck Bay.