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Police recover body near Piha Beach

Newshub logoNewshub 7/01/2019 Jamie Ensor

Police have recovered a body near Piha Beach believed to be the 16-year-old swimmer who went missing on December 29, 2018.

The body was spotted by the police's Eagle helicopter north of the popular beach on Monday night.

a man holding a phone: Family 'devastated' after teen went missing off Whatipu beach. © Video - Newshub; Image - Instagram Family 'devastated' after teen went missing off Whatipu beach.

Insp Gerry Whitley said police believe the body to be Leka Pasiaka who went missing from Whatipu Beach after getting caught in a strong current while swimming with family members.

His sister was also reportedly stuck in the current, but managed to get back to the shore, where she was taken to Waitakere Hospital.

a body of water with a mountain in the background © File

Mr Pasiaka's family had been waiting on Whatipu Beach while the helicopter and coastguard scoured the sea for any sign of the boy in the last days of 2018.

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There's no official patrol at Whatipu beach, but volunteer surf life savers did rush to the scene to try to help.

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

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