The body of a 21-year-old has been found after he fell from his kayak at Waiotahi Beach, Opotiki.

Police and Coastguard started a search with the assistance of a helicopter after being advised by family members at about 1pm today.

The sea conditions at the time were described as rough and the man was not thought to be wearing a life jacket.

The man's body was located near the shore about 1km from where he disappeared by a friend assisting with the search at about 3pm.