Nine people, several of whom were tourists, have been injured in a jet boat crash on Queenstown's Shotover River in Skippers Canyon.

About 10 people were onboard the boat when it crashed into rocks while riding the Shotover River just after 10am.

Skippers Canyon Jet marketing manager Gavin Larsen said the group were roughly half way through the trip down the river when the incident occurred.

The boat made contact with some rocks, he said, which brought it to a stop.


"The worst injury is a suspected broken leg ... the rest of the injuries are primarily bumps and bruises."

Larsen said several passengers were part of a group of tourists from Thailand.

Two were tourists from Canada - one of whom was a middle-aged woman whose leg could be broken.

She had been transferred from Lakes District Hospital to Dunedin Hospital.

One of the 10 people onboard was the skipper - an employee of Skippers Canyon Jet.

The company's commercial boat rides would be suspended until an investigation is complete and when the company had determined what happened.

Larsen said the investigation could start tomorrow.

The Swift Water Rescue Team was initially on standby, but have since been stood down.

A witness at the scene said the accident appeared to have happened about 200 metres downstream of the Skippers Canyon suspension bridge.

"It looks like it was a substantial accident."

The rescue helicopter had now been and gone twice to transport patients to hospital.

One person remained in the boat, where they looked to be receiving medical assistance, he said.

The witness said it was a beautiful, hot day in Queenstown, with a bit of cloud overhead.

A witness said a rescue helicopter had been and gone twice, transporting patients to hospital. Photo / Supplied
A witness said a rescue helicopter had been and gone twice, transporting patients to hospital. Photo / Supplied

Queenstown Lakes District Council mayor Jim Boult said jetboat rides on the Shotover River were immensely popular with tourists.

"Jet boating is synonymous with Queenstown. I couldn't tell you exact numbers but I'd imagine an excess of a couple of hundred thousand people a year would undertake one of the activities on the river."

Boult said his first concern was for those involved.

"I'm sure the appropriate bodies are looking after the welfare of those people.

"The second concern is to ensure the accident is thoroughly investigated - I'm sure we'll run a very thorough investigation into that."

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission had been notified of the accident, as had Maritime New Zealand.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission confirmed it had opened an investigation into the accident.

"The circumstances reported to date are that a jet boat crashed at about 10am today in Skippers Canyon, and that nine people received serious, moderate and minor injuries," a statement read.

"The Commission has appointed a team of investigators, and they are preparing to go to the accident site as soon as practicable."