The body of a 29-year-old man has been recovered from Lyttleton Harbour this evening.

The cruise ship crew member fell into the harbour around 2.30pm after a cable snapped while he was working on a lifeboat with another male crew member.

The second crew member was pulled from the water at the time of the accident and taken to Christchurch Hospital.

He had suffered no major injuries, St John spokesman Ian Henderson told NZPA.

The matter has been referred to the Coroner.