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Seven dead, one missing in New Zealand boat accident

Seven people were killed and another person was missing in a boating accident near Auckland, New Zealand, police said.

Inspector Duncan Hall said the chartered fishing boat Francie was carrying 11 people when it got into trouble in Kaipara Harbour near Auckland. He said three survivors were pulled from the water and taken to a local hospital.

Rescuers also recovered five bodies from the water soon after the accident. Another two bodies washed ashore at nearby beaches.

Insp Hall said the fishing boat was reported as overdue to emergency services at 3:30pm. Police were still trying to establish what happened to the boat and how its occupants ended up in the water. Ins[ Hall said conditions on Saturday were poor, with large sea swells.

Eyewitnesses told Television New Zealand that rescuers in helicopters plucked the survivors from the water and placed them on a beach, where locals kept them warm until ambulances arrived.

The TV station reported that the accident happened at the entrance to the harbour, an area which is notorious for producing treacherous conditions for boats.

The Facebook page for Francie Charters says its boat Francie is licensed to carry up to 20 people with two crew members. It shows customers using lines to catch snapper and other fish, and encountering dolphins.


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