WELLINGTON, NZ- Five people died Saturday in New Zealand as a boat sailing near Kaikōura flipped after getting hit by a whale. Another six people aboard the boat that capsized were rescued. Read on to know what happened.
It was a small charter boat owned by a local fishing charter business, Fish Kaikoura. The police stated that the 8.5-meter boat overturned near the South Island town of Kaikōura. They said they were continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.
A possible collision with the whale is believed to be the cause as the area is a popular whale-watching destination. The seafloor drops away steeply allowing deep waters close to the shore. Tourists often visit the place to see whales, dolphins, and other sea creatures.
A Possible Whale Strike Flips the Boat in Kaikōura Leaving 5 Dead
The authorities reported on Saturday that a 28-foot boat overturned near Kaikōura after a probable collision with a whale. According to initial reports, the small charter boat was carrying a group of women over the age of 50.
Five of them died while six others were successfully rescued and sent to the local medical center for observatory care. The police are still trying to identify the deceased in order to inform their families. Two of the bodies have been identified thus far.
Kaikōura Police Sergeant Matt Boyce has described it as a “Devastating and unprecedented event.” “Our thoughts are with everyone involved, including the victims and their families, their local communities, and emergency services personnel,” he said.
He confirmed that the police divers have recovered the bodies of all those who had died. One of the rescued persons is transferred to a hospital in the city of Christchurch for precautionary measures while others are assessed to be in stable condition.
Kaikōura Mayor Craig Shares Details of the Tragic Boat Capsize
According to Kaikōura Mayor Craig, the water was dead calm at the time of the accident and the weather was absolutely fine. The group of women were enjoying their trip on the boat before a whale surfaced from beneath the boat and hit it.
This made the boat flip and the people aboard fell into the deep ocean. Out of those, five were found dead while others have been rescued. He confirmed that there were some sperm whales in the area and also some humpback whales traveling through.
The police have also ruled out any other cause of the boat’s capsize. The area has also reported similar incidents previously. However, no casualties were recorded.
The mayo stated that the locals had helped with the rescue efforts throughout the day. However, the general mood in the town was “somber” as the water was cold and it was believed that survivors would be fewer.
Fishing Kaikoura, the company whose charter boat flipped didn’t share a comment on the unfortunate event. We’re trying to connect with them to find more details.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the deceased and their families. May God let the departed souls rest in peace.