There is concern for jobs in Nelson following a fishing vessel fire on board a trawler from the town, which forced the 43 people on board to abandon the ship.
The fire on the 63-metre Amaltal Columbia started early this morning, and despite efforts to extinguish the blaze, the crew were forced off the ship just before 8am.
They boarded liferafts and were picked up by another fishing vessel and brought back to Lyttelton Harbour.
When news broke this morning the families of those on board faced an anxious wait as details of the emergency filtered back to land.
"He was asleep in his cabin at the time and went to check and all he could see was smoke and he knew it was for real," Ruth Slivsgaard, mother of deckhand Mark, told ONE News.
In the ship's hometown of Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio said he was concerned about how the fire will affect the local economy.
The fishing industry employs nearly 3000 people in the town and is worth around $275 million, making it one of the key economic drivers for the region.
"It's not a good day, it's a disaster in a lot of respects but I'm sure we'll come through this and Talley's will minimise the impacts as much as possible," he said.
Tally's Nelson Division CEO Tony Hazlett said this afternoon the priority was to get the rescued men home, and he also offered some assurances for their future.
"The crew are spread all around New Zealand, they are all New Zealand crew and half of them live in the Nelson region," he said.
"The reality is we'll be able to deploy those people on other vessels. We hope we'll have the Columbia back fishing shortly, but I can't answer when."
The damaged vessel is being towed into Lyttelton and is expected to arrive in the early hours of the morning.
Hazlett flew over the ship earlier today and said he thought it looked salvageable despite the internal damage and it leaning on a five degree list.