One dead after jet-boat crash

One person has died after a jet-boat crash on the Hollyford River in Fiordland National Park.

Police say they were alerted to the incident in Southland about 8.45pm on Monday.

Another person is understood to have suffered serious injuries.

The crash is the third jet-boat accident during the past two months, following a February 23 incident in Queenstown, in which nine people were injured, and the death of Christchurch jet-boat competitor Cameron Moore during the Otago rivers jet-boat race, near Luggate, two days later.

Last night, police were not releasing further details of those involved in the Hollyford accident, but commercial jet-boat operators in the area said they believed the crash involved amateur enthusiasts.

Hollyford Track operates the only full-time commercial jet-boat service on the river, which it uses to ferry walkers and other recreational users in and out of the remote and rugged region.

A Hollyford Track employee confirmed the crash did not involve the company or its staff.

Wairaurahiri Jet operator Joyce Kolk, whose operation is based in Tuatapere, in southern Fiordland, said she had not heard news of any crash among professional circles.

''I think it's probably a private boat that's come to grief. [The Hollyford is] a tough river.''

Southern Lakes Helicopters operations manager Lloyd Matheson said the firm had taken part in the rescue operation, but was unable to provide further details.

''I believe [chief pilot, Sir] Richard [Hayes] flew the mission, but that's all I can tell you at this stage.''

Sir Richard could not be contacted last night.

Jet Boating NZ president Paul Mullan was also unavailable for comment.

Police are investigating on behalf of the coroner, with assistance from Maritime NZ.

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