Police have withdrawn the fishing vessels from the search for two missing fishermen in the South Island due to high winds and four-metre swells.

The alarm was raised yesterday around 4.20pm, when it is believed two fishermen were swept off the rocks near Slope Point Rd.

Police say Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) shoreline searches have finished for the day.

"The helicopter continues with air searches of the area while the LandSAR team will continue on foot until low light," a police spokesperson said.

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"Police will continue to monitor sea and wind conditions throughout the day."