A candlelight vigil held at Castlecliff Beach for drowned teenager Jordan James Marshall was "beautiful", the organiser says.

About 28 people gathered on the beach at Rangiora Street on Monday night in remembrance of the 17-year-old, who was caught in a rip at Castlecliff Beach on Christmas Day.

READ MORE: What to do if you get caught in a rip

Jordan was swimming with his girlfriend when the rip took him, and it is understood he quickly disappeared beneath the water's surface and was not spotted again.

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His body was found on Sunday night, just north of where he went missing.

Jordan was swimming with his girlfriend when the rip took him. Photo / Facebook
Jordan was swimming with his girlfriend when the rip took him. Photo / Facebook

Whanganui man Daniel Harding put a post up on Facebook after Jordan's body was found, asking people to bring a candle to the beach in remembrance.

"I don't know this family, but I do know that Whanganui lost a child this christmas," Mr Harding wrote in the post.

"This Christmas has seen a lot of loss over our country so if anyone is interested, bring a candle to the beach tonight around 8pm so we can spend time in remembrance of our fellow family of NZ, especially Whanganui.

"Education is important around water safety . . . let's do what we can in honour of the families who have lost someone."

Mr Harding said on Tuesday about two of Jordan's friends showed up, and the rest gathered were strangers who wanted to pay their respects.

Jordan's body was found on Sunday night, just north of where he went missing. Photo / Supplied
Jordan's body was found on Sunday night, just north of where he went missing. Photo / Supplied

"We sang songs and had a karakia, and a couple of people who knew of him, knew Jordan, told us a story. We had a few tears, had a few laughs."

Mr Harding said the group sang Amazing Grace and other hymns.

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"It was beautiful, actually."

He couldn't say why exactly he decided to organise the vigil, but he wanted to bring his community together.

Since Christmas day there have been eight deaths in the water around New Zealand.