Police have confirmed the names of the men who died in a boat tragedy in Bluff Harbour last Friday.
They were Richard Hiraman Jeet, 66, and Claude Norman Mitchell, 67.
Police are investigating the circumstances of the incident and extend their sympathies to the men's loved ones.
Two others involved in the incident had been taken to hospital in a stable condition.
A friend of Jeet told the Herald he was a "good friend and brother".
The friend said she had known Jeet for about 12 years and had lived near him in Makarewa, north of Invercargill.
"For me, I have lost a good friend and a good brother," she told the Herald.
"I don't have any family in New Zealand and [he] was as close as family to us."
Jeet had been a strong source of support when her partner, a senior firefighter, died last year in a stag attack.
"Richard was like a brother to us and he would always used to come and help us on the farm."
"He was always there... a very great man."
The friend wasn't aware of the circumstances around Jeet's death, but said she had been to visit his family, who she described as in shock.
She said Jeet had sold his block of land in Makarewa about five months ago and was renovating his townhouse in Invercargill.
She said the close-knit Indian community was coming together to support Jeet's whānau and pay their respects.
"It's not a big Indian community in Invercargill so everybody is getting together... it's something which is always there with them that their brother drowned, but in saying that, life does not stop there."
Bluff Community Board chairman Raymond Fife said he understood the boat involved was being used recreationally.
"It was rough conditions out on the harbour today. That may have played a part.
"It's tragic, and we feel for the family [of those who died]."
A rāhui has been put in place for the Bluff inner harbour, a post on the NZ Southland Hunting And Fishing Facebook page said yesterday.
"As a sign of respect and aroha to those who tragically lost their lives today, also our moana, Te Rūnanga o Awarua have placed a rāhui on the Bluff inner harbour.
"A traditional rāhui requires you refrain from taking kaimoana and pay respect within the notified area."
The week-long rāhui was in place in the area a direct line from Kanawera-Stirling Point to the Papakaha-Tiwai Point, and all the way up the harbour, including Awarua Bay, the post said.
Maritime New Zealand had been advised and police are making inquiries into the deaths on behalf of the Coroner.
Police would like to hear from anyone who saw a small boat in Bluff Harbour yesterday or who has CCTV footage of the harbour as this may be relevant to their inquiries.
Anyone with information is asked to call 105 and quote event number P048675341.