Tourist-tourist boat crash: Officials say 4 dead as boat capsizes off Australia
A passenger boat carrying 4 people and 5 crew members capsized off the Australian state of New South Wales on Tuesday, with the captain dead, officials said.
The boat was heading from a cruise ship in the Indian Ocean, near the port city of Darwin, to the port of Cairns in the north of the state, said state transport minister David Chippendale.
It capsized near the small town of Kermadec, about 130 kilometres (75 miles) south of Darwin.
The vessel’s captain, Peter Hui, 44, was killed in the incident, said police commissioner Michael Clements.
The death toll was expected to rise, with a total of 10 people missing, and four missing crew members, said Chippaud.
The captain, Hui Hui of Sydney, had been on holiday with his family, said Clements, but was “a very well respected man”.
He had been a marine engineer for almost 30 years, and had been involved in the marine salvage industry for 20 years, said the police commissioner.
Hui had been an avid swimmer and a member of a club of boat owners and sea captains, he told AFP news agency.
“He’s a very good person and I think he’ll be remembered for his kindness and compassion,” Clements said.
Authorities have said the ship capsized while sailing in the area near the Cape Hatteras archipelago.
The incident came days after a small boat carrying two men from New Zealand crashed off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
A video posted on Facebook by the island’s chief police officer, Brigadier-General Chris Wilson, showed the wreckage of the boat in shallow water, with one man clinging to life.
“We’ve had several sightings of boats that have capsized in the past and they all appear to be capsizing,” Wilson said.
“One of our guys on the boat reported seeing a boat that had capsized and it appeared to be in the water for about an hour.”
Authorities said the boat was about a quarter-tonne in length, with its centre of gravity set at about 14 metres (50 feet) and had a capacity of about 1,200 people.
The men were among about 1.5 million people on the island, with about 30,000 holidaymakers on the remote island of Nauru.
Authorities said they were investigating the cause of the accident, which was not yet known.