Five people died off New Zealand after a boat possibly collided with a whale – NPR
Five people were killed in a capsize off the coast of New Zealand on Saturday morning when a small charter boat was collided with what is suspected to be a whale.
The collision happened in Goose Bay, in New Zealand, near the South Island town of Kaikōura. Humpback whales and sperm whales frequent the area for whale watching.
According to reports, the vessel was a 28-foot chartered boat, and the passengers were bird enthusiasts from the New Zealand Nature Photography Society. There were six additional passengers on board that were rescued after the accident and brought to a local hospital.
According to Vanessa Chapman, a witness to the event, two rescue helicopters and an additional local helicopter circled as two divers jumped out during the rescue.
In the winter, the water is extremely cold, making it fearful that anyone left in the water would not survive.
Kaikōura Mayor Craig Mackle told The Associated Press that the water appeared very calm during the incident. It is therefore believed that a whale emerged from beneath the surface, although police will continue to investigate the exact cause.
As part of the investigation, Maritime New Zealand sent two investigators.
In an interview with the AP, Mackle said, “It always plays on your mind that it could happen.” Despite this, he has never heard of a whale capsizing a boat in the past.
Harbor operations have been halted, and locals are helping to restore the harbor.
For more coverage on this story, see the additional news sources below:
- Five people died off New Zealand after a boat possibly collided with a whale NPR
- Boat off New Zealand collides with whale, leaving 5 dead Fox News
- Five dead on ocean bird-watching trip after boat hits whale: report New York Post
- 5 dead after New Zealand boat flips in possible whale strike Honolulu Star-Advertiser
- Five dead after boat capsizes off New Zealand coast Reuters
- https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/300685000/investigations-to-begin-into-how-fishing-charter-with-bird-watchers-capsized-in-very-calm-seas STUFF