A stand-up paddleboarder has been rescued by a passing boatie after getting lost returning from Rangitoto Island to Auckland.

A Coastguard spokesman said the man had paddled from Milford Beach on Auckland's North Shore to the volcanic island in the Waitemata Harbour yesterday.

The paddler became lost navigating his way back to the East Coast Bays beach, said the spokesman.

His wife reported him overdue when he failed to return from the outing and police began a search.

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Coastguard also put a message out on maritime radio channels.

The man was picked up in the middle of the shipping channel just after 9pm by a boatie who heard the broadcast plea for help and spotted the stricken paddleboarder.