Helicopters are scouring the west coast waters for a man who went missing while fishing off Camel Rock in Piha this morning.
The Eagle and Westpac Rescue helicopters are searching for the man, who was reported missing about 5.30am, after going out fishing with a friend, a police spokeseperson said.
The Piha Surf Club is also involved, but large swells of up to 2.5m are hindering water rescue efforts.
Surf Life Saving Northern Region duty officer Jimmy Kendrick said emergency services had been unable to locate the man after he reportedly fell in the water after fishing off Camel Rock next to the Keyhole.
The large swell size (2.5m swells and 3.4m wave faces) made it too risky for rescuers to launch IRBs or jet skis.
Kendrick said anglers had been told not to venture out on the rocks.
He said the incident reinforced the importance of knowing the conditions, not going out alone and wearing safety equipment including a lifejacket, wetsuit and high visibility material.
The Waikato Rescue Helicopter searched the area between 6am and 7am before being stood down by Police, a Philips Search and Rescue Trust spokesperson said.
Lifeguards and Police have searched along the beach and around the rocks where the man was swept off. Police Eagle and Westpac helicopters both conducted aerial searches with no success.
Search and Rescue supervisor John-Michael Swannix said it was the third incident at the keyhole in the past six months.
Another fisherman was given first aid after being washed off the rocks early morning on Easter Sunday.
Last October three people were swept out of the keyhole and were rescued by the Piha Emergency Callout Squad using an IRB.
"If you see someone in trouble in the water call 111 and ask for Police, they have a direct line to SurfCom our rescue communications centre who can task our Search and Rescue squads."