Australia catamaran accident leaves three people dead

image copyrightABC News
image captionTwo survivors were found clinging to the boat, authorities said

Three people have died after a catamaran overturned off the coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Emergency crews said an emergency beacon was activated on the vessel in seas near Newcastle, 160km (100 miles) north of Sydney, on Thursday.

Another two people - a man, 40, and a girl, 16 - were rescued after being found clutching to the capsized boat.

Authorities said the accident happened in rough seas about seven nautical miles from shore.

The bodies of the three people, who have not been identified, were recovered from the water.

The two survivors were taken to hospital but their condition is not known, Supt Luke Wiseman from New South Wales Ambulance told reporters. They had been wearing lifejackets, he added.

"What made the rescue quite difficult is being an overturned vessel, there was quite a lot of debris and ropes in the water at the time," he said.

"[Rescue] crew members were confronted with quite a high sea with strong winds at approximately 30 knots."

Local media reported the catamaran was 11.7m long.

Vessels had been warned that strong winds would create dangerous conditions along the coastline, authorities said.

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