Look for a missing man. Thomas Phillips and his children concentrate on the Marokopa seashore.

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In their search for Thomas Phillips and his three young children, searchers are focusing on the Marokopa beach.

Thomas Phillips, 34, and his three young children, Jayda Jin, 8, Maverick Callum-Phillips, 6, and Ember Phillips, 5, were last seen on Saturday evening at Marokopa.

Sergeant Sean Keeley told the journalists at the Marokopa Town Hall that Land Search and Rescue crews had found no sign that they were in the bush.

He says they are focused on searching the coastline, which includes the nearby bush and sea.

It is not known what any of them were last wearing.

Police vehicle parked at Kiritehere Beach.

A police vehicle parked at Kiritehere Beach. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Police say they are looking at a number of scenarios and it’s been challenging since the start.

Police, with the approval of family, today released photographs of Phillips and his children.

“We want to acknowledge the family’s incredible strength at this very difficult time and thank them for their on-going help,” Waikato West Area Commander Inspector Will Loughrin said.

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Police want to speak to anyone who was in the Marokopa or Kiritehehe Beach areas either Saturday 11 or Sunday 12 September.

“While you might not think you have seen something, we want to hear from you.

“This includes bach owners or visitors who may have left the area after the weekend.”

Police ask people to contact the investigation team via 105 and quote file number 210913/1952.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s Allan Mundy says there are currently 17 lifeguards on the water, including swimmers searching caves.

Surf lifesaving teams from Raglan and Taranaki prepare to enter the water at Marokopa to start a coastline search from the ocean.

Surf lifesaving teams from Raglan and Taranaki prepare to enter the water at Marokopa to start a coastline search from the ocean. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Surf lifesavers are using inflatable boats and a jetski in their search.

Mundy says the Rescue Co-ordination Centre is using the Galileo satellite system.

She said local knowledge on sea conditions is also a great help.

A childhood friend of Thomas Phillips has also joined the search for the family.

Murray Kawhena turned up at the search headquarters today wanting to lend a hand.

He describes his old friend as a quiet man with a big smile.

Kawhena says Phillips knew the sea conditions well and it would be a surprise if he had been swept out to sea.

He says members of the Ngāti Te Kanawa hapū are saying karakia that if that is the case Tangaroa returns him and his children to their families.


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