Holidaymakers at Waihi Beach are being urged to avoid the dangerous surf overnight, after emergency services searched for an adult and child who were reported missing.

All swimmers at the beach this afternoon were ordered from the water after lifeguards received a report of two missing swimmers, which has still not been confirmed.

“Police and surf lifesavers have been unable to locate anyone following these reports – nor has anyone come forward to say any people in their family or group are missing,” police said.

After hours,the search was called off because the waves were too high and it was too dark, police officer Andrew Cochrane told the Herald.

“We had three IRBs and two jet skis. [It was] big surf, probably three, four-metre surf.

“Too big for people to be swimming in really.

“Stay out of the water … due to the surf conditions, and there are some massive rips out there.”

Cochrane said there were at least two rescue incidents at the beach today.

The Waihi Beach Surf Lifesaving Club said their team “headed out in challenging conditions” and it was a “huge effort in very difficult surf”.

“The search has been unsuccessful so far,” it said in a Facebook post.

“If anyone has family members missing, specifically an adult male and a child, please contact Police on 111 or the non-emergency number on 115.

“Waihi Beach Lifeguards would like to advise everyone to remain out of the water until advised.We have had a large number of rescues today so please be safe and stay out overnight.”

👏🏼Huge shout out to Waihi Beach Volunteer and Regional Lifeguards for the outstanding response to a major search,…

Meanwhile, one person was taken to Tauranga Hospital in a critical condition after a water-related incident in Mount Maunganui today.

Emergency services were called around 3.30pm.

Two St John vehicles attended the scene near Surf Rd at Omanu and treated one patient at the scene before transporting them to Tauranga Hospital.

The Bay of Plenty Times understands a male needed assistance after getting into difficulty in the surf.

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