SYDNEY, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Police in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) on Saturday reported a fatal boat incident in Sydney, saying that a man was dead with another in hospital, after a whale breached near their 4.8-meter runabout vessel and flipped it.
According to NSW Police, at about 6:00 a.m. local time, emergency services were called to Botany Bay in Sydney's south, after an unoccupied boat was found circling in waters off Cape Banks at La Perouse.
An unconscious man was pulled from the water. Despite attempts to revive him, the 61-year-old was declared deceased at the scene.
A second male, aged 53, was assisted by witnesses and transferred to Foreshore Road Boat Ramp. He was later taken to hospital in a stable condition.
"Early reports are that a whale may have breached near the boat or onto the boat," NSW Police Acting Superintendent Siobhan Munro said at a press conference on Saturday.
"Right now there's a lot of whales out there and it is not unheard of these stories of whales breaching next to boats. It is obviously captured quite often," Munro noted. "This is a tragic accident but not one that I guess would be unexpected."
Data from the NSW state government showed that last year, there were 11 boating-related fatalities on the state's waterways and 48 drownings along the coastline.
With the boating season having kicked off, Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Darren Schott urged skippers to always wear a life jacket and log on to safety tracking services while out on the water.
"Marine Rescue NSW is coming off its busiest year on record with volunteers completing more than 4,500 rescue missions across the state," said Schott. ■