Police recover body, believed to be of missing 16-year-old, near Piha Beach

A body has been recovered north of Piha Beach after it was spotted by the Police Eagle helicopter yesterday evening.

Waitemata West Relieving Area Command Inspector Gerry Whitley said today that at this stage police believe the body to be the 16-year-old swimmer reported missing from Whatipu Beach - roughly 7 kilometres away from Piha by sea - on December 29.

A post mortem and a formal identification will now be carried out.

Local boaties, fishing vessels and a police helicopter helped comb the choppy sea in search of two people who went missing at the West Auckland beach a week and a half ago, but only one person came out.

Whatipu Beach is not regularly patrolled by surf lifesavers, and the entrance to Manukau Harbour is known for its large waves and dangerous currents.

Jeremy Saunders, who lived in Whatipu for nine years, earlier told 1 NEWS he would never go out in the water, which he described as extremely dangerous.

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The 16-year-old's friend managed to make it out on Saturday. Source: 1 NEWS

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