The search continues for a man who remains missing after his small boat capsized in choppy seas off the coast of Taranaki this morning.

Police were called to the scene near Paritutu Rock just after 9am.

One person has been rescued suffering scrapes and bruises.

But his companion is still lost and now the upturned boat - believed to be a dinghy - has sunk.


Police said the alarm was raised after the boat was seen to flip about 300m off a New Plymouth beach after 9am.

A search, which includes police, coastguard, private vessels, rescue helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft, has been ongoing for the past three hours as efforts are made to locate the missing boatie.

Local man Russ Dixon said there was now no sign of the boat on the water.

Conditions in the area were bleak with choppy seas buffeted by a blustery wind.

Locals lining the foreshore were surprised someone had taken to the water in a dinghy in such rough conditions.