A search and rescue operation is under way at Ninepin Rock, West Auckland, after a fisherman was washed off rocks at Whatipu Beach this afternoon.

Police were alerted to the incident around 1.45pm.

The operation, including Police Eagle helicopter, Coast Guard and LandSAR, is
ongoing.

A man who at the beach today told the Herald he arrived with his family just after 1pm.

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"We spent time playing at the beach till 2.40pm. We saw a helicopter circling at 2pm but otherwise there was no drama. We didn't know nor hear anything, all beachgoers were out and about and seemed unaware."

A rescue chopper could be seen circling over Whatipu Beach today as rescuers searched for a fisherman washed off rocks. Photo / Supplied
A rescue chopper could be seen circling over Whatipu Beach today as rescuers searched for a fisherman washed off rocks. Photo / Supplied

On their way out from the car park about 2.30pm the family saw a police car arriving.

In December a teenager died after being swept away at Whatipu Beach.

The body of Leka Pasiaka was found more than a week later north of Piha Beach after it was spotted by the Eagle police helicopter.

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