Police have suspended the search for Victor Edward Boraman, who has been missing since being swept into the sea at the Rakaia River mouth in Canterbury last Sunday night.

There's been no trace of Mr Boraman since the Christchurch Westpac Rescue helicopter crew spotted him in the water, but were unable to rescue him.

The 21-year-old dairy worker was whitebaiting with two friends at the river mouth when he was swept into the sea.

With the assistance of spotters on shore, rescuers found Mr Boraman after he had been in the water for about an hour.


However as they were attempting a rescue, Mr Boraman was hit by a large wave and sucked under the water. Poor weather and sea conditions hindered the search.

A Coastguard Air Patrol aircraft and LandSAR volunteers on quad bikes failed to find any trace of his body last night.

A memorial for Mr Boraman was held yesterday at the Papakaio Community Centre in Otago.

A death notice published last week said that Mr Boraman - a Russian orphan born Victor Sergeyevicvh Vasiliyer who was brought to New Zealand by his new parents Ted and Dixie Boraman as a six-year-old - had been "tragically lost at sea''.

Mr Boraman was originally from Oamaru but moved to Ashburton earlier this year to work on a dairy farm.

According to his mum her son's dog had run into the lagoon.

His friends grabbed it and when they turned around a wave had come in from behind Mr Boraman and knocked him off his feet.

Police said Mr Boraman did everything right.

It was understood he took his waders off so that he could float as attempts were made to rescue him.