The search for the missing swimmer will continue today until it is too dark, police have confirmed.
If unsuccessful, search teams will return tomorrow in the morning in hopes of finding the missing swimmer at Mount Maunganui.
Earlier in the day, a rescue helicopter joined the search for a person who police said appeared to have gone missing in the water off Marine Parade, in Mount Maunganui.
Police received a report about 10.35am of a person missing in the water, a police spokeswoman said.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"Police are at the scene with Surf Life Saving and Search and Rescue, and a rescue helicopter has been dispatched to assist with the search."
Search teams could be seen in the water including four inflatable rescue boats, coastguard and surf life-saving members on jetskis.
The rescue helicopter could be seen searching the water around Motuotau Island and flying low along the stretch of beach from Shark Alley to Tay St.
Police say they are supporting the family of the missing man as the search continues.
Some beachgoers were not aware the search was under way until noticing the large presence of surf life-saving members up and down the beach. A couple, walking their dog in the area, were saddened to hear a person had gone missing in the water.
More to come.