Two men are safe after their small aluminium boat overturned in Mellons Bay, near Howick.

A member of the public called police at 6.49pm when he spotted the pair in trouble.

The men were located by crew on the Police Eagle helicopter and a local ferry dropped two life-jackets to the men and stayed with them.

"When police arrived another boat had turned up, had collected the drenched men and was towing the stricken boat to shore," Sergeant Craig Kennedy said.

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"We are grateful to the member of the public for raising the alarm and to the ferry crew for coming to the men's aid."

Police said it was fortunate the incident happened in calm conditions while it was still light "otherwise it could have been a different story."

It's possible the pair had life jackets in the boat.

"This is a perfect example of why it pays to always wear your life jackets."