An early morning fishing trip ended in disaster when a boat in Bay of Islands started taking on water after its hull was pierced by rocks.

All five passengers on board - including two dogs - were taken safely ashore and the damaged 8m vessel loaded onto a trailer. It was scheduled to be towed back to Auckland yesterday for repairs.

The call for help came about 1am yesterday when the boat struck rocks on the northern tip of Urupukapuka Island. The vessel had floated off the rocks with damage to its bow just before Bay Rescue II arrived.

Bay of Islands Coastguard volunteers on the Bay Rescue II took a child on board for safety while the two adults, one of whom had a minor head injury, stayed with their boat and were escorted into Te Uenga Bay, where they had launched.


Everybody on board, including the dogs, was wearing life jackets.

The Bay of Islands Coastguard skipper Andre Pieterse said the volunteer crew were able to respond quickly as the skipper of the damaged boat had activated a locator beacon to raise the alarm.

"Our first priority was to get the people to safety ... the boat was definitely taking on water," Mr Pieterse said.

"The skipper was happy to make his way back to shore and they followed us because they didn't really know the area."

"It's also a timely reminder for boaties to make sure that, along with life jackets and at least two forms of waterproof communication, they also have the proper navigational equipment aboard, which would've helped this trio avoid the collision."

It's been a busy summer season for the Bay of Islands Coastguard with two serious incidents one involving the death of a diver and the other the recovery of a woman who fell from a boat and drowned.

Mr Pieterse said there had also been numerous calls to help boaties who had issues related to a lack of maintenance of their vessels.