Three fishermen were rescued from their sinking boat after the vessel struck rocks off Bluff harbour overnight.
The skipper and two crew members made an emergency call over marine radio before boarding the fishing boat's life raft around 3.15am.
The 13.4 metre fishing vessel, Ayson, struck rocks and later sunk near Sterling Point, at the entrance to Bluff harbour, while returning to shore.
Bluff Coastguard vessel, NZAS Rescue, and the South Port NZ vessel, Takitimu, responded to the emergency.
The three picked up by Coastguard and returned to Bluff while the Takitimu recovered some flotsam from the Ayson, Sergeant Ian Martin said.