A southern right whale jumps off the waters of the Atlantic Sea offshore Golfo Nuevo in Puerto Madryn, in the Patagonian province of Chubut. Photo REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

A southern right whale, known in Spanish as ballena franca austral, jumps off the waters of the Atlantic Sea offshore Golfo Nuevo, in Puerto Madryn, in the Patagonian province of Chubut, Argentina September 30, 2023. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

Man Dies After Whale Collides With Boat

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September 30, 2023

SYDNEY, Sept 30 (Reuters) – One man died and another was in hospital on Saturday in Australia after awhale struck and flipped their boat during a fishing expedition, authorities said.

Police said one man was pulled unconscious from Botany Bay, off the coast of Sydney, and later died, while the other was taken to hospital in a stable condition, police said.

“A whale has been involved, whoever would have thought that that would have occurred, it’s terribly tragic,” said New South Wales Police Minister Yasmin Catley.

State Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib said it was “an absolute freak accident.”

The boat “was likely to have struck or been impacted by a whale breaching, causing the boat to tilt, ejecting both men,” police said in a statement. It did not identify the whale’s species.

Australia’s extensive coastline hosts 10 large and 20 smaller species of whales. While human deaths caused by whales in the region are rare, Australia and neighboring New Zealand are hot spots for mass whale strandings on beaches.

Eight Danes were rescued in June when their sailboat capsized in the Pacific Ocean after a collision with one or two whales.

(Reporting by Sam McKeith in Sydney; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and William Mallard)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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