Two people are missing off the West Coast after debris and a life raft were spotted south of Haast.
A light plane flying over the water near Jackson Bay, South Westland, at about 11.30am, spotted the objects.
Police said a helicopter was deployed to scout the scene and at about 2.40pm a man was found on a rock at Niels Beach and flown to Greymouth Hospital in a stable condition.
Two other people on the boat, which is believed to have run into trouble on Thursday night, are still missing.
Police said the search has now been suspended for the night and crews will assess weather conditions in the morning.
They said there were no plans to continue with the helicopter search at this stage.