A full scale search has been underway at Cooks Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula for a man thought to have fallen or jumped from Shakespeare Cliff into the sea below.

Northern communications police Inspector Matt Sillars said police search and rescue had combed the area together with the Coastguard, Westpac rescue helicopter and firefighters for the man, after a person reported seeing him go over the high cliff into the water.

Mr Sillars said the person had been watching with binoculars from a beach when the incident happened at 12.30pm today.

The coastguard found a plastic bag in the water but so far there were no other signs of a person.


Mr Sillars said they could not prove or disprove the sighting and police remained in the area, but fire, ambulance and the coastguard were being called off.

Shakespeare Cliff is used as a tourist lookout over Mercury Bay.