Searchers have found a body during a search for a missing diver on the West Coast of the South Island.

Tasman District assistant search and rescue co-ordinator Sherp Tucker said those searching the area around Hapuka Rock, Jackson Bay, 44km southwest of Haast, had recovered a body.

It had not yet been formally identified, he said.

The search began after the friend of a 38-year-old Dunedin man reported him missing about 12.30pm on Friday.

A dive squad from Wellington arrived this morning to search the sea floor in the area the man was last seen.

Police said the man, who lived in Dunedin, would not be named until next of kin had been advised.