The search for a missing 18-year-old man whose boat flipped off the coast of Taranaki is now a recovery operation.

A police spokeswoman said it was not expected he would be found alive but a limited search would continue.

"Police would like to thank all of the people and organisations involved in the search so far," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

"Our thoughts are with the missing man's family and friends at this sad and difficult time."

Police were called to the scene near Paritutu Rock just after 9am on Monday.


Conditions in the area were bleak with choppy seas buffeted by a blustery wind.

One person was rescued but the second man was not found and the small boat, believed to be a dinghy, had sunk.