A 63-year-old woman was pulled from the water in the Marlborough Sounds this morning after jumping from the Bluebridge ferry as it made its way from Wellington to Picton.
About 11.30pm police were called to Queen Charlotte Sound after the Tauranga woman jumped overboard from Bluebridge's Santa Regina Ferry, Sergeant Mark Kirkwood said.
Another passenger saw her jump overboard and immediately told the ship's crew, Bluebridge spokeswoman Wendy Pannett said.
"And they then swung into a search and rescue operation, they called assistance from other ferries in the area and a number of small boats."
The woman was found alive shortly after 1am by a boat in the area and was taken to Wellington Hospital for treatment.
Something like this had never happened before on a Bluebridge ferry, Ms Pannett said.
"The master of the Santa Regina was the commander, so he coordinated all the boats in the area [for the search]. Everyone's really pleased with how the rescue went and hugely relieved that she was found alive."
The woman was in a stable condition in the emergency department, a hospital spokeswoman said this morning.
Some ferry services were delayed by the incident.