Four people have been winched from the water after their 6m vessel sunk suddenly approximately 10 nautical miles (18.5km) off the Taieri River mouth, south of Dunedin.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) received a very brief and quick Mayday call on maritime radio shortly before 10.30am, indicating the vessel, with four men on board, was sinking fast.
Two helicopters from Otago Helicopters and the Dunedin Water Rescue Squad was tasked to search, and all on board the boat were winched to safety by 11.40am.
The four fishermen were taken to a waiting ambulance at the Taieri River mouth, where they were assessed by paramedics.
RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Chris Henshaw said the men were all wearing lifejackets and were carrying distress flares.
“They were very organised and that has made a real difference to the outcome of this incident,” he said. “The Dunedin Water Rescue Squad has also done a great job in getting them from the water up into helicopter. This is a very good result from a situation that had the potential to have a very different outcome.”