A MULTI-AGENCY search from the sea and sky was under way in Newcastle on Monday for a swimmer missing off Stockton for more than 24 hours.
Police and surf lifesavers on jet skis were joined by Marine Rescue NSW crews and police vessels on the remote coast off Williamtown, between Stockton and Anna Bay, during the operation.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was tasked from Sydney to back water-based crews from the air.
The chopper was seen circling the Stockton beach area on Monday afternoon.
At least three jet ski crews - from Surf Lifesaving NSW and the NSW Police force's marine command - were part of the search effort from about 8am.
Three Marine Rescue NSW boats, alongside a police vessel - were conducting parallel line searches off Stockton beach on Monday morning.
"With swells ranging from 1 to 1.5 metres and light winds, sea conditions are currently favourable," Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Courtney Greenslade said at the time.
The missing swimmer, believed to be a man of Middle Eastern appearance aged between 18 and 20, has been unaccounted for in the sea since about 3pm on Sunday.
He was last seen by his friends becoming submerged in water about 200 metres offshore, near the four-wheel-drive beach entry point off Lavis Lane at Williamtown.
Police raised the alarm with surf lifesavers at Stockton and Birubi after calls for help came in.
Five people were reportedly caught in a rip.
Four managed to make it back to shore on their own but the fifth man did not return.
The search was called off temporarily at about 3.30pm on Monday.
A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed the operation would resume with the same resources - including officers on jet skis and marine area command officers - at 8am on Tuesday.
IN THE NEWS:
- More than 100 charged as protesters refuse to leave harbour
- Why new Knights recruit Jack Cogger is a luxury for Adam O'Brien
- 'Invisibility cloak': Newcastle antibacterial tech boosts surgery outcomes
- Newcastle Jets prisoners of stadium deals affecting playing surface
- Dilapidated Merewether home left empty for 20 years sells for millions