Three hunters have been rescued after their dinghy capsized in the chilly waters of the Manawatu River near Palmerston North on Saturday morning.
All three have been taken to hospital for observation.
Palmerston North rescue helicopter pilot Marc Bridgeman says the men did the right thing by clinging to partly submerged trees in the river.
"We winched the first chap off, and (at) the second tree stump that had two chaps on it, we tried to hover-load them initially, but they appeared just a bit too weak to get on the helicopter right beside them, so we ended up winching them off as well".
Mr Bridgeman says conditions in the area were cold at the time, with a high of just 1degC soon after sunrise.