THREE people, including two students, are missing in rough seas off the New Zealand coast.
The three were part of a group of 13 who became stuck on the Paritutu Rock at New Plymouth while out rock climbing on Wednesday.
Police were alerted about 1.30pm (1130 AEST) that some of the group had fallen off the rock into rough seas as the tide came in, Inspector Mike Coleman told AAP.
A helicopter, rescue boats, port pilot boat and a commercial fishing boat are searching for the three people believed to be two students and an instructor.
“We are probably looking at deaths, but we are not certain,” Insp Coleman said.
At least one person had been taken to hospital with injuries after falling on to rocks.
He said it appeared the group had got into trouble when the path they had used to walk to the Paritutu Rock had been closed off as the tide rose.
The 2.5-metre swell was “quite rough”, he said.