A woman believed to have drowned at a marina near Whangarei had reported feeling unwell before she was found in the water.

Acting Senior Sergeant Stephanie Hudson said the 48-year-old woman had been with friends at Marsden Cove Marina, near Ruakaka, on Saturday night when she told them she was feeling unwell and would be heading back to her boat moored in the marina.

The woman is believed to have lived aboard the boat.

"Someone has gone to check on her later but she was not found in the boat but in the water [by the piers]," Ms Hudson said.

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She said emergency services were called to the scene about 10pm and paramedics who attended attempted CPR, but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

She said there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the woman's death and it was being treated as a suspected drowning.

Marsden Cove is a 230-berth marina at the mouth of the Whangarei Harbour.
Commercial buildings adjacent to the marina house a cafe

The incident is Northland's fourth suspected drowning this year and comes after a 51-year-old Swiss tourist was found face down in the surf at Ninety Mile Beach on February 16.

The first drowning was a 53-year-old man who died after getting into difficulties while body surfing at Long Beach in Russell on January 23. The second was a 20-year-old man whose body was found by divers at Charlie's Rock, on the Waipapa River, after he had been swimming with friends on January 26.

Water Safety New Zealand provisional drowning statistics for 2015 show 15 people drowned in Northland - four more than in 2014.