"A lovely man and a good guy", is how a grieving friend has described a man who was found dead near Tauranga Bridge Marina yesterday.

Police were called to the marina about 10.40am after people found the 55-year-old's body near one of its piers.

Police had identified the man and were in the process of contacting his family.

One of the man's friends, Graeme Purdie, yesterday visited the pier where the man's body was found to try and find out what happened.

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"He was one of my best friends. It's so sad," he said.

Mr Purdie said he was shocked and still trying to digest the news.

"He was a lovely man and a good guy. He was real hard case. I can't believe it."

Marina manager Tony Arnold said the man had been renting a berth at one of the piers.

Mr Arnold said the man was excited about getting his boat going again.

The man's body had been found by other people at the marina.

"We don't know what happened. Obviously, something has gone wrong," Mr Arnold said.

Mr Arnold said he knew the man, who had previously done some work for the Marina team.

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"It's very sad that he's gone now," Mr Arnold said.

Another marina resident, who would not be named, said the situation was "pretty horrible".

Tauranga police Detective Sergeant Alan Kingsbury confirmed the man's body had been found floating in the water.

"We have identified him as a 55-year-old local man," Mr Kingsbury said.

"It's not being treated as suspicious. We've referred the matter to the coroner."