One person died today when a boat sank on North Lake Mavora near Queenstown. There were three young men on board.

One of them managed to swim to shore and raise the alarm after the 15-foot private boat sank, Senior Sergeant John Pine of Invercargill police said.

Police received a call about 12.30pm and sent out a search and rescue helicopter and boats.

A second person made it to shore and was speaking to police about their ordeal. Police later found the body of the third person. Names would be released once next of kin were told, Mr Pine said.

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The Mavora Lakes are made up of South Mavora and North Mavora. They are located on State Highway 94 between Mossburn and Te Anau.