A long-range helicopter with three police officers onboard are searching the Northland coastline after the discovery of an inflatable boat belonging to a missing man.

The inflatable boat was likely used by 47-year-old fisherman Bryce Frecklington, missing since Thursday off the Karikari Peninsula in Northland.

Bryce Frecklington.
Bryce Frecklington.

The inflatable boat was found upright on the water by another boatie around 10.30am on Saturday.

Its discovery was reported to police today, and Frecklington's family confirmed it was the boat he had been using.

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Rescue Coordination Centre NZ took over leadership of the search last night from police.

The Royal NZ Air Force P3 Orion that had been searching this morning has been stood down and RCCNZ deployed a long-range helicopter to conduct a shoreline search for the man based on drift modelling along the Karikari Peninsula.

Frecklington, who is from West Auckland, was last believed to be staying at a campground in Maitai Bay near Karikari Peninsula last Thursday.