This is the moment a Labour Weekend boating outing took a turn for the worse.

The crew of the vessel had to abandon the sinking boat earlier this morning on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, north of Motutapu Island.

The passengers in the boat made an emergency call at 9.49am that the boat was taking on water and the boat was sinking, a Coastguard Northern spokesperson said.

The four people in the boat jumped into a dinghy and were met by the first of three rescue boats sent to the job within 10 minutes of making the call for help.


"The four persons were safely in their dinghy and were retrieved and taken to Gulf Harbour - back to shore," the spokesperson said.

The vessel was being salvaged by the Harbourmaster and insurance representatives who were still on the water at 3.20pm.

The boat started sinking north of Motutapu Island and east of Mairangi Bay.

It is unknown whether the passengers were wearing life jackets or what caused the boat to sink.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said the northern region had carried out 47 calls since Labour weekend began, largely due to a large number of mechanical breakdowns as boaties hit the water for the first time after winter.