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Body found in search for teenager who went missing while swimming at Dunedin beach

Police have found a body in the search for teenager Vinnie Beecroft who went missing after swimming at a Dunedin beach.

St Clair Beach in Dunedin Source: Google Maps

While formal identification has yet to take place, it's believed to be that of the 14-year-old who failed to return to shore at St Clair Beach, Dunedin, on Thursday 23 January.

Police would like to thank all those involved in the search, including Surf Live Saving NZ and LandSAR.

The family of the teenager have today expressed gratitude to the "brave and heroic" efforts to help.

In a statement, relative Kathy Peters said a group of boys had spent the afternoon having fun in and around the water at St Clair Beach and "enjoying the day, when tragedy struck".

"Very special thoughts and thanks go to the young boys who were there with Vinnie at the time, their efforts were truly brave and heroic in their bid to help Vinnie when he got into difficulty at Seconds Cliff on Thursday afternoon.

"A special thanks to NZ Search and Rescue, Police, Victim Support, Surf Life Saving NZ, especially at St Clair, and all others involved," the statement read.