A sinking boat has been retrieved from the water in Pilot Bay and declared a wreck.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff and the harbourmaster worked to retrieve the vessel which was moored at Salisbury Wharf.

The sinking vessel is retrieved by the harbour master boat. Photo / Leah Tebbutt
The sinking vessel is retrieved by the harbour master boat. Photo / Leah Tebbutt

Harbourmaster Peter Buell told the Bay of Plenty Times their maritime team had responded to a sinking recreational vessel at Salisbury Wharf about 8am.

He said they were now at the Bridge Marina taking the vessel from the water, after floating it earlier this morning.

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He said it was important they took it out so it did not sink any further.

They had not had any luck speaking to the owner yet, but had declared the boat a "wreck", he said.

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About five to ten litres of diesel leaked from the boat, which either dispersed quickly or was contained by booms, he said.

He said a quick retrieval meant less diesel went into the harbour.

The Regional Council's vessels Kaha and Awanui both helped at the scene.

Vessel that has sunk at Salisbury Wharf in Pilot Bay. Photo / Supplied
Vessel that has sunk at Salisbury Wharf in Pilot Bay. Photo / Supplied

The Bay of Plenty Times understands the owner of the boat suffered a medical event, tied up his boat at the wharf before being taken to hospital this morning.

However, the boat began taking on water this morning and started to sink.

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A staff member at Mount Ocean Sports Club said it was a "little old boat" which had been at the wharf for a couple of weeks.

"The bad weather from last night must of got in. There is also a oil film on top of the water."

Vessel that has sunk at Salisbury Wharf in Pilot Bay. Photo / Supplied
Vessel that has sunk at Salisbury Wharf in Pilot Bay. Photo / Supplied

A police spokeswoman said they were notified of an incident in the harbour about 6.40am.

It had appeared the boat had broken its mooring and taken on water, she said.

No one was onboard.