Land search for Leka Pasiaka, who went missing at West Auckland beach, called off
Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/news/109712638/-

2019-01-02 23:18:42

Police have scaled back searches for a teenager six days after he was swept away at a rugged West Auckland beach.

Leka Pasiaka, 16, went missing while searching for mussels at Whatipu on Saturday.

His family have been keeping vigil on shore everyday, desperately awaiting news of the teen.

Land-based searches for Leka had now been "completed", a police spokesman said on Thursday morning.

However, the police Eagle helicopter would continue to look for the teenager from the air on Thursday.

Surf Life Saving volunteers would head out onto the water to search for any sign of him.

At the beach on Wednesday, some of Leka's loved ones said they had not left that spot since he disappeared into the surf.

On Wednesday, other families were exploring rocks near where Leka had been searching for mussels, at the south end of the rugged beach.

Signs at the entrance to the track, which snakes from a clearing near the campsite down to the beach, said swimming was "not advised" as the beach often had strong rips.

On Saturday, two other people made it back to shore after being pulled out to sea with Leka, police said.

One was taken to hospital for observation.

Over the weekend, surf lifesavers in the northern region – which covers the area between Cape Reinga and Raglan – rescued 15 people from the water in total.

On Saturday, two people were rescued at Sunset Beach at Port Waikato.

On Sunday, 10 people were rescued at Muriwai on Auckland's west coast, one at nearby Piha, and one at Whangarei Heads.

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