Two men have been rescued after their fishing boat capsized off the Fiordland coast.
Bluff-based Fisherman’s Shore Station marine radio operator Meri Leask said she got a call from the crew of the fishing boat Kiri Lee this evening saying they had come across an overturned boat.
They could see the hull of the boat but could not tell what type it was, nor could they see any immediate sign of life on board, Ms Leask said.
As well as the Kiri Lee, another fishing boat, the Santa Rosa, was also nearby.
Crew from the Kiri Lee then spotted two men in the water and took them on board.
The men, who had been on board the Bluff-based crayfishing boat Sharcaree, were the skipper Troy Johnson and crew member Dan Young.
A family member of Mr Johnson’s last night declined to comment on the rescue.
Te Anau-based Southern Lakes Helicopter pilot Chris Green together with St John medic John Lambeth and Constable Glenn Matheson, of Te Anau police, took off after 5pm.
Using night vision goggles, Mr Green picked the two men up from the mouth of the Chalky Inlet at northport and took them to Southland Hospital.
Chalky Inlet is between Dusky Sound and Preservation Inlet on the Fiordland coast.
Mr Green said both men were fine and talking.
They had been in the water for about 15 to 20 minutes, he said.
Both men appeared to be fine with no injuries, he said.
No one else was missing, Mr Green said.
Police were at the hospital to interview the men.
Maritime New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokeswoman said it was not involved as no beacon had been activated.
Ms Leask said it was not known what had happened to the overturned boat.
It was too dark last night and more would not be known about why it capsized until today, she said.
‘‘There was no wind and my understanding is weather conditions were good,’’ she said.
Police notified Environment Southland for the possibility of oil spills from the boat.
A website for Carey Boats says the Sharcaree is 17.71m in length and was designed in 1992 and built in 1993 for a Bluff cray fisherman who still owns her.
‘‘We have been very lucky to have clients who look after their boats, and none more than the owner of this boat. She can be found catching crayfish in one of the wildest coastlines in New Zealand but is always in perfect condition,’’ the website said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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