Two men have drowned while gathering seafood at Kakanui about 15km south of Oamaru.
Three divers were initially reported as missing in the water at about 5:30pm on Tuesday evening.
One man was found dead in the water by a resuce helicopter and another man was found deceased by a surfer, who assisted with getting the victim to a boat to be returned to shore.
A police spokesperson said a third man made his way back to the shore with no injuries.
"Police would like to thank the locals of Kakanui and others who assisted with the rescue and recovery this evening.
"No further information will be released until all next-of-kin have been advised."