A boat which sunk during gale-force winds at Pilot Bay in Mount Maunganui is being refloated.
The boat was reported to be sinking in the harbour on Tuesday afternoon, a Bay of Plenty photographer at the scene capturing footage of the vessel sinking under the waves with only a part of the craft visible.
A reporter at the scene today said a barge operator and scuba diver were working to recover the boat, which had sunk close to shore.
A crowd of onlookers, about 10 people, were watching the vessel recovery, she said.
Yesterday, Pilot Bay resident Maree Southward said she reported the sinking boat to the harbourmaster just before 2pm.
"I was watching the stormy weather ... I looked out from my deck and saw the boat sinking."
She said about half of it was underwater at that point.
She said the boat was at the Salisbury wharf end of Pilot Bay and estimated it was about 20m offshore. It was "really windy and choppy with big waves" on the water.
Items from the boat were washing up on shore, including fish containers and life jackets, she said. The boat had a small cabin and was regularly moored in the Bay.
She believed no one was on the boat.
Harbourmaster Jon Jon Peters said the 7.9m boat had sunk on its mooring.
There was no evidence of oil in the water and an investigation into what caused the sinking would be carried out.
Debris from the boat has been collected from the shoreline.