Two bodies have been recovered from the wreck of a fishing boat which sank off the Canterbury coast.
Police and navy divers from HMNZS Manawanui entered the wreck, in 40m of water, yesterday and recovered the bodies of two of the three crew members.
A distress signal was sent from the fishing boat FV Jubilee at 4.30am on 18 October, when the vessel was 20km from the mouth of the Rakaia River.
The three crew members said they were heading for the life raft, but the raft was discovered with nobody on board.
They were fishing about 20km off the coast in rough and windy conditions.
Formal identification of the bodies has yet to be completed, but Sergeant Phil Simmonds said police believed they were those of two of the crewmen understood to have been on board at the time the FV Jubilee sank.
Members of HMNZS Manawanui performed a Piping of the Side as a mark of respect when the bodies were recovered.
Sergeant Simmonds said the weather deteriorated overnight, so there would be no diving today, but divers would return tomorrow to complete their search.