3 dead as boat capsizes off South Australian coast

Three individuals have lost their lives and two are hospitalized following a fishing boat overturning off the shore of South Australia. The incident prompted an urgent search effort by emergency teams when the vessel, carrying five people, failed to return to Port Lincoln on Monday evening.

A police rescue helicopter spotted the overturned boat near Spilsby Island in the Spencer Gulf of South Australia around 2 am on Tuesday, rescuing a 44-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy from a reef.

Despite initially hopeful conditions, with calm seas suggesting the possibility of survival for the remaining three occupants, this hope was shattered as two bodies were recovered later that morning, with the fifth crew member found deceased shortly after 2 pm.

The rescued individuals were transported to Port Lincoln hospital with injuries not deemed life-threatening, mainly related to exposure to the cold. Police Superintendent Paul Bahr stated that the boat has been located and will undergo further examination, including forensic analysis and scrutiny by the coroner.

The fishing party, comprising mostly adults, consisted of family members and close friends. According to the two rescued individuals, the boat was overwhelmed by a wave around 4 pm on Monday, causing it to capsize and eject everyone into the water.

Following a notification from the crew’s family members about their failure to return, a large-scale search operation was initiated, involving various rescue units, including the police helicopter, water operations, Sea Rescue vessels, a Challenger jet, and the P&O cruise ship Pacific Explorer. Police will now compile reports for the coroner’s investigation.

The search operation involved multiple resources, including police helicopters, water operations, Sea Rescue vessels, a Challenger jet, and even the P&O cruise ship Pacific Explorer. These efforts were mobilized after the crew’s family members reported their failure to return just after 8:30 pm on Monday night.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, police will now compile reports for the coroner’s investigation to ascertain the circumstances leading to the capsizing and the subsequent loss of lives. The details provided by the two rescued individuals will likely be pivotal in understanding the sequence of events that led to the boat overturning.

This incident serves as a poignant reminder of the inherent risks associated with maritime activities and the importance of adhering to safety protocols while at sea. The loss of lives has undoubtedly shaken the local community, and the investigation will seek to provide answers to the questions surrounding this tragic event.

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