4 Jan 2012

Police name men who died in boat capsize

9:50 pm on 4 January 2012

Police have released the names of two Southland men who died after a boat capsized and sank in Foveaux Strait on Tuesday evening.

They were Shaun David Bethune, aged 23 of Ryal, and Lindsay James Cullen, aged 59 of Brydone.

Five people were fishing from a recreational boat 1km off White Island in Foveaux Strait when a wave hit the vessel and flipped it at about 5.30pm on Tuesday.

All five were wearing lifejackets and three others - two women and a man - survived in the water for five hours.

They were treated at Southland Hospital for hypothermia and released.

Maritime New Zealand and the police are investigating the incident and the deaths have been referred to the coroner.

Police says the accident could have turned out a lot worse had it not been for the actions of a fisherman in the area.

Senior Sergeant Bruce Terry says the survivors were spotted in nearby Caroline Bay at Ruapuke Island by a fisherman at 10.30pm.

"He got them on the shore and I believe they built a fire and contacted emergency services. Without them being taken from the water and looked after at that stage, it could have been a lot worse."