A possible whale collision with a fishing charter vessel boat was suspected in New Zealand off Goose Bay on the South Island , Saturday morning. The Kaikoura boat capsized. Five people are reportedly dead. Their bodies were inside the overturned vessel. Kaikōura Mayor Craig Mackle said the water was perfectly calm. A large search operation went on for several hours throughout the afternoon. Two rescue helicopters and a third local helicopter were circling before two divers jumped out. 11 people had been aboard the boat at the time of the accident. Only six of them had been safely brought back to shore. One has been transferred to Christchurch Hospital.
Whales traveling through the area were observed. Boat trips are offered as a tourist attraction in New Zealand. The boat is believed to belong to a local fishing charter business, and a group of women aged over 50 were on board. No Australians were involved in the incident. Sergeant Matt Boyce said it was an “unprecedented event” and a tragedy and that police were supporting those involved. “The exact circumstances surrounding the incident will be subject to an extensive investigation, which will involve multiple agencies,”HE ADDED. Kaikoura is a popular whale-watching destination. The sea floor drops away precipitously from the coast, making for deep waters close to the shore.