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

Sydney, Australia – A tragic maritime incident occurred off the coast of Sydney early Saturday, resulting in one fatality and another man hospitalized. The mishap reportedly involved a boat being capsized by a breaching whale, according to local law enforcement.

The New South Wales Water Police responded to distress signals around 6 a.m. local time, near the headland beyond Botany Bay. Upon arrival, they found two men in the water, one of whom was later pronounced dead. The other man was rescued and is currently receiving medical attention.

The boat, believed to have been struck by a breaching whale, has been retrieved and is set to undergo a forensic examination to ascertain the exact cause of the incident. This unfortunate event coincided with the commencement of National Safe Boating Week in Australia, an initiative 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 deceased man 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.