The boatie who died after the boat he was in flipped crossing the notorious Manukau Bar at the weekend has been named.

Joe Tetou Williams, 56, died after he and two companions were thrown into the Manukau Harbour on Saturday morning. The boat sunk immediately.

His two companions, who were wearing life jackets, were picked up by a passing boat more than two hours later.

Emergency services gather at Little Huia after Joe Tetou Williams died on Auckland's Manukau Harbour on Saturday. Photo / Michael Craig
Emergency services gather at Little Huia after Joe Tetou Williams died on Auckland's Manukau Harbour on Saturday. Photo / Michael Craig

Police have referred Williams' death to Coronial Services and extended their sympathies to his family.

Police Senior Sergeant Ross Hunter said earlier that the people were in the water for quite sometime before a passing boat noticed the wreckage.

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The survivors were taken to boat ramp at Little Huia, where a waiting ambulance transported them to hospital.

Hunter said the men who went to help them were "very professional" and he "can't thank them enough".