Emergency services have suspended the search for a man who was last seen struggling in the Whanganui River earlier tonight.

A police spokeswoman said emergency services were first notified about a man struggling in the river shortly after 7pm near Whanganui Airport.

Coastguard, surf lifesavers and a Westpac rescue helicopter assisted police in the search but have since stood down for the night.

The police spokeswoman said police are still in the area but will stand down shortly, picking the search up again in the morning.