Five People Dead After Whale Overturns Small Boat

Five people have been killed off the coast of New Zealand after the small boat they were in was overturned by a whale.

Five people died after their boat was overturned by a whale off the coast of New Zealand
Five people died after their boat was overturned by a whale off the coast of New Zealand

Six people reportedly survived the incident which occurred near the South Island town of Kaikoura, authorities reported on Sunday.


The condition of the survivors has been described as stable, five were assessed at a local health centre with one being taken to a Christchurch hospital as a precaution.


Kaikoura police sergeant Matt Boyce said: "Our thoughts are with everyone involved, including the victims and their families, their local communities, and emergency services personnel."



Craig Mackle, the town mayor, told news reporters that waters were calm at the time and the assumption was that a whale surfaced from beneath the boat.


He added that humpback and sperm whales often travel through the area.


The bodies of those who died were recovered by police divers, with three helicopters being dispatched for the rescue mission.


Kaikoura is a popular area for whale watching with many businesses offering helicopter or boat trips to watch the whales.


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