Two people have been rescued after their boat capsized in Bluff Harbour late this afternoon.

A police spokeswoman said at 5.30pm the pair were safe at Bluff Ferry Terminal and waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

The alarm was raised at 4.30pm when a seven metre boat was seen capsized and two people were in the water, one clinging to a chilly bin.

A bystander told police the pair appeared to be adults and were wearing lifejackets.

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The bystander also told police there were several boats nearby as the capsize had occurred in the channel, the spokeswoman said.

The coastguard were called but the spokeswoman did not know if it was the coastguard or a private boat that had rescued the pair.