Two people have been rescued from the sea off the Waitara rivermouth after their boat capsized about 1.30pm.
Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said the two people on board ended up in the water and tried to correct the vessel but were separated from it shortly after.
"It appears they were not wearing life jackets," Mr McIntyre said.
"They were able to stand on the bar, but were swept north as the tide went out."
Mr McIntyre said a local fishing boat rescued the pair and the Coast Guard had been deployed to retrieve the boat.
"Obviously the big message is to wear a life jacket," he said.
"It's like wearing a seatbelt, you put it on straight away because you might need it. It's too late to put it on when you need it."
A cell phone and marine radio were also essential for boaties heading out on the water, Mr McIntyre said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What do you think of the proposed alcohol policy?Related story: Push to close bars at 2am