All 60 aboard New Zealand tourist boat rescued from fire

2016-01-18 10:42
People stand on the shoreline as a tourist boat carrying 60 people burns out at sea off the coast of Whakatane, New Zealand. (AP)

People stand on the shoreline as a tourist boat carrying 60 people burns out at sea off the coast of Whakatane, New Zealand. (AP)

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Wellington - All 60 people aboard a tourist boat that caught fire off the coast of New Zealand have been rescued , according to authorities.

Police spokesperson Kim Perks said the fire aboard the vessel "PeeJay" broke out on Monday afternoon after it was returning from White Island to the town of Whakatane.

She said all 53 passengers and seven crew members were forced to leap overboard to escape the fire, with two taken to area hospitals after suffering minor injuries.

Perks said the boat was about 1km from shore when it sent a mayday, allowing the Coast Guard and smaller vessels to reach it quickly.

White Island is volcanically active and popular with tourists. It is 50km off the North Island coast.

Read more on:    new zealand  |  fires  |  maritime accidents

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