A kayaker missing since lunchtime yesterday off the Far North coastline has been found alive by a boatie this morning.

A large-scale sea, shore and air search was launched this morning in the Doubtless Bay area after the man failed to return from an ocean paddle.

Coastguard spokeswoman Georgina Smith said a boatie spotted the missing kayaker in the sea and plucked him to safety.

He was safe and was being brought back to a local beach.

A police spokeswoman said other than being cold and hungry the man was uninjured despite his ordeal.

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He was spotted floating in his kayak around 9.20am and brought to shore at nearby Coopers Beach.

Coastguard Northern air patrol and Whangaroa Rescue launched a search at first light for the overdue paddler.

Police say the man, in his early 30s, left from Cable Bay and had not returned.

Smith said the alarm was raised last night. An extensive search was mounted this morning involving Coastguard, police search and rescue, and Far North LandSar volunteers.

The paddler was last seen heading into the bay yesterday and had not been seen or heard from since.

Smith said searchers were initially focusing on the greater Doubtless Bay area.

A police spokeswoman said police were told at 8.50pm the man had not come back from his ocean paddle.