According to the police, the 8.5-meter boat overturned when it was close to the Island town of Kaikōura in the South.

According to Kaikōura Mayor Craig Mackle, the water at the accident site was dead calm when the accident happened, and it was assumed that a whale had surfaced from underneath the sailing boat.

Another six individuals who were on the boat were rescued.

The police divers were able to recover the bodies of the deceased individuals, adding that all six survivors were examined, and they are stable. One was transferred to a hospital in Christchurch as a precautionary measure.