A man has died after his boat was struck by a whale, flipping him and one other person into the water.
At about 6am on Saturday NSW Water police rushed to try to help the two men in the waters off La Perouse, 14km southeast of Sydney, after receiving reports their boat was struck by a whale and flipped.
One of the men was pulled from the water unconscious.
At about 6am NSW Water police rushed to try to help the two men in the waters, 14km southeast of Sydney, after receiving reports their boat was struck by a whale and flipped.
One of the men was pulled from the water unconscious. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was declared deceased, according to a NSW Police statement.
Police believe the men were in the water for about 45 minutes before they were spotted by another boat, Acting Superintendent Siobhan Munro said.
The men were in a 4.8 metre runabout, which was suitable for the conditions, Munro said.
She said the incident was tragic but perhaps unsurprising given whales’ tendency to “breach” out of the water.
“It is not unheard of, the stories of whales breaching next to boats, which is obviously captured (on film) quite often.
“So this is a tragic accident but not one that I guess would be … unexpected.”
“It is a stark reminder that, although you could be out on the water having the best day, it could quickly turn into one of the worst days.”
NSW Police minister Yasmin Catley gave the government’s deepest condolences to the family of the deceased man after the “terribly tragic” incident.
“It’s a stark reminder really of just how dangerous the water can be,” Catley said.
A second man, the skipper of the boat, was retrieved from the water and treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to hospital in a stable condition.
It is not clear at this stage how big the whale was or if any other boats were struck.
Foreshore Road Boat Ramp at Botany remains closed as inquiries continue.
With summer on the way, anyone set to take to the seas was urged to wear a lifejacket at all times to minimise risk if an accident should occur.