One Dead, One Hospitalized in ‘Absolute Freak Accident’ with Whale

A fatal boating accident occurred off the Sydney coast early Saturday morning, resulting in the death of one man and the hospitalization of another. Local authorities reported that the incident involved a boat being overturned by a breaching whale.

The New South Wales Water Police received distress signals around 6 a.m. local time, near the headland beyond Botany Bay. Upon reaching the scene, they discovered two men in the water. One of the men was later declared dead, while the other was rescued and is currently receiving medical treatment.

The boat, suspected to have been hit by a breaching whale, has been recovered and is scheduled for a forensic examination to determine the exact cause of the incident. This unfortunate event coincided with the start of National Safe Boating Week in Australia, a campaign aimed at promoting safety measures such as the use of life jackets while boating.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has previously issued warnings about the increased presence of whales in Australian waters this year. They have advised swimmers and boaters to maintain a distance of at least 100 meters from a whale and 300 meters from a whale with a calf.

The man who lost his life in the incident was 61 years old, while the survivor, aged 53, is reported to be in stable condition. The two men had been fishing when the incident occurred. The survivor reportedly stayed close to his companion, trying to keep him afloat until help arrived.

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib, described the incident as an “absolute freak accident,” highlighting the inherent dangers present on waterways.