Three jetboats from the Whanganui River's Bridge to Nowhere Lodge will rescue canoeists stranded on the river today.

Lodge owner Joe Adam said about 45 people were stranded at John Coull Hut, Tieke Kainga and several campsites. Their canoes had washed down river.

The canoeists were all okay as far as he was aware.

"It's going to be a busy day for us," Adam said.

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He was in a jetboat on the river yesterday, and picked up 23 canoes washed away in the near-flood on Wednesday night.

They have been taken back to Raetihi, and he's not sure who owns them.

Some canoe tour operators on the river were unqualified, he said, and had put their customers at serious risk.

"It's operators like this that are creating a huge bad image for the river."