Whakatane River search suspended

09:42, Dec 18 2013

The search for a teenager who was last seen falling into the Whakatane River has been suspended overnight.

Police divers will join the search for the 13-year-old boy tomorrow morning.

The boy was playing with friends near the Whakatane bridge at about 6pm tonight when he fell backwards into the river from a concrete step, about a metre above the water, police said. He did not resurface.

His friends rang police, and a search and rescue operation has been under way since, involving Coastguard and Land Search and Rescue teams.

The water search has now ended for the night, but the Land SAR team would keep watch on the river through the night.

His family has been notified.