Two men have died while gathering seafood at Kakanui near Oamaru this afternoon.
Police say several people and water craft assisted with the search after three men were reported to be outstanding in the water off Harbour Terrace at about 5.30pm.
One man made his way back to the shore with no injuries.
A second man was found deceased by helicopter and brought back to the shoreline.
The third man was also located deceased by a surfer who assisted with getting the victim to a boat to be returned to shore.
Police have thanked the locals of Kakanui and others who assisted with the rescue and recovery this evening.
No further information will be released until all next of kin have been advised, police said in a statement.
The deaths are likely to be referred to the Coroner.