The body of a 29-year-old man has been found in Queen Charlotte Sound waters in Marlborough.

A search began at 3.40pm yesterday after an inflatable dinghy was located on the shore near Punga Cove. The body was located by a helicopter about one kilometre from Furneax Lodge at 6.30pm.

Police knew the man's identity but said his name would not be released until next of kin had been informed, Sergeant Michael Irving said.

An investigation into the cause of the man's death is continuing.