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Boat trip turns to tragedy

"Police News Alert Issued *** 5.15pm, 15 January 2014 ***"

A boating trip at Surat Bay in the Catlins turned to tragedy this afternoon when a teenage girl died after the boat she was on capsized.

A 48-year-old Balclutha man and his teenage daughter and male friend, both aged 13, headed out in the early afternoon on a boat on Surat Bay east of Owaka.

Information indicates that about 300 metres from the shore the boat's engine started to fail and cut out. The boat became swamped before capsizing.

The alarm was raised with police at approximately 1.30pm and Emergency Services from Balclutha and Owaka, and the Dunedin-based rescue helicopter were deployed.

The man and boy made it ashore together, while the girl was found on shore about 30 minutes later. Tragically resuscitation attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.

All three were wearing life jackets.

Weather conditions were windy at the time and conditions were described by people at the scene as rough.


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