Scores of people are involved in a search for a man missing since yesterday afternoon when a boat overturned in an estuary near Invercargill.

About 2.30pm yesterday a member of the public alerted an off duty police officer that a dingy containing three men had overturned in the Riverton Estuary.

The officer and member of the public were able to retrieve one of the men from the water, while another occupant managed to swim to safety.

The third man, a 25-year-old, was missing.

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Police said today about 60 people were involved in the search, including Police Search and Rescue, Riverton Coastguard, LandSAR teams from Invercargill, Te Anau and Tokanui, Riverton Fire Brigade and Southern Lakes Helicopters, along with local vessels and family members.

Weather conditions were fine.

The Police National Dive Squad was scheduled to arrive mid-morning to assist.