5 dead after boat capsizes in New Zealand
Five passengers are confirmed dead after a charter fishing boat capsized off Goose Bay in Kaikoura, New Zealand on Saturday.
The 8.5-meter boat with 11 on board is believed to have bumped into a whale, said Kaikoura's mayor Craig Mackle. Police said it appeared that the boat collided with something, but they couldn't confirm a whale encounter at the moment.
According to local media, the passengers are from a local bird enthusiast group and come from all parts of New Zealand. Many of them are female over 50 years old.
The accident is one of the most serious maritime disasters in the past year in New Zealand. Another similar case killing five men happened in March 2022 due to extreme weather.
An investigation is underway since the accident was unusual in such good weather condition.
Kaikoura is a coastal town famous for whale-watching in the South Island of New Zealand. Whale-sightings are common in the region. Usually whale-watching vessels need to keep a minimum distance of 50 meters from the whales.