A man has been arrested for drink-driving just 15 minutes after police rescued him and his friend when their jetboat got into difficulty in Queenstown last night.

The two men - aged in their early 20s - had been spotted by a member of the public after the boat crashed into rocks near the Kawarau Falls Bridge around 10.45pm.

The boat was seen being pushed off a rock and hit another before being pushed off again and moving down stream, police said.

The member of the public was concerned the vessel was in low water and may not be under control, and phoned emergency services.


The pair were found by CoastGuard at 11.24pm, about 100m downstream of the bridge, police said. Their boat had sustained some damage but the two men were uninjured.

"The males indicated they had been travelling up the river when they got caught out by low water and lack of light," police said, adding the vessel was equipped with flares, a radio and lifejackets.

A vehicle and boat trailer was nearby. However, as the pair had been drinking they were advised not to drive and to make other arrangements.

But 15 minutes later, the vehicle and boat trailer was stopped by police with one of the men behind the steering wheel.

"He failed a breath screening test and was processed for drink driving," police said.

The Queenstown harbour master has been advised of the boating incident.