A search is underway for a man who has gone missing while snorkelling north of Gisborne this afternoon.

The 33-year-old Gisborne man was snorkelling with two friends off the Makarori Coast when he got into trouble.

Police were called at 1.45pm and have been searching for him along with the Rescue Helicopter, Coastguard and Land Search and Rescue volunteers.

The Police National Dive Squad is heading to Gisborne to help in the search which will continue in the morning.