Coastguard volunteers rescued two people after smoke was reported coming from a 38-foot launch, the Tarus, at the entrance to Putiki Bay at Waiheke Island this afternoon.

Coastguard responded after receiving a distress call just before 2pm this afternoon.

The vessel was full of smoke when they arrived, and appeared to be coming from the engine box.

The person removed first was treated for smoke inhalation while the owner stayed with the vessel, reluctant to leave, but was forced to accept evacuation when the smoke problem worsened.