A boat is believed to be in trouble in Tauranga Harbour.

Police Northern Communications Centre shift commander Andy Brill said they had received a call about a boat that was possibly in trouble about 2.05pm.

"It's tied itself to a marker buoy," he said.

Mr Brill said there was one person on board the 4m runabout which was tied to the channel marker in the harbour entrance.

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It was being watched from the shore and the Coastguard was on its way.