Police have confirmed they are now looking for a body after a man was swept into Wellington Harbour after falling off a small boat at the mouth of the Hutt River.
The man fell while retrieving fishing nets at the estuary of the flooded river about 5pm on Sunday.
An extensive shoreline search has failed to find any trace of the 49-year-old and efforts have been hampered by poor visibility in the water.
Senior Constable Craig Pickering said the man was not wearing a life jacket and is unlikely to have survived the fall.
Mr Pickering said a police search boat would continue to scour the coastline on Tuesday.