Five people - including three children - have been injured after a boat flipped as it was trying to cross the bar near Taieri Mouth in Otago this afternoon.
An adult and two children have been airlifted to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter in a serious condition.
Another adult and child - who were moderately injured - were taken to hospital by ambulance.
Police said the small boat they were in had an outboard motor and flipped as it was heading out while they tried to cross the bar at about 1pm.
The group were rescued local jet skiers and surfers, including two medical doctors who provided first aid.
Police said the boat has not been recovered.
Otago Rescue Helicopter chief pilot Graeme Gale said three helicopters were sent out to the scene.
He said the accident was an "absolute tragedy".
"People were having a really good day, and this is just absolutely devasting for everybody involved, and the family. Our hearts go out to them."