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New Zealand

7 dead, 1 missing in New Zealand fishing boat accident

A boating accident near Auckland, New Zealand has left seven people dead. Rescuers are still searching for one missing person, as investigators try to determine the cause of the accident.

A boating accident north of Auckland, New Zealand left seven dead and one still missing on Saturday afternoon.

Inspector Duncan Hall said a chartered fishing boat, The Francie, was carrying 11 people in Kaipara Harbor when it ran into trouble.

Hall said conditions were poor with large sea swells in the harbor, located 75 kilometers (47 miles) northwest of Auckland.

Local fisherman Eric Kuypers agreed, telling Fairfax media the sea was "just a wall of white water" near the scene of the accident. Kuypers believed the surf was between 1.4 meters to about 3 meters (4.6-9.8 feet).

Eyewitnesses told Television New Zealand that rescuers in helicopters were able to locate three survivors and bring them to the beach, where locals kept them warm until ambulances arrived.

Rescuers have recovered five victims from the water, and two more washed up on local beaches early Sunday. An air search for the missing person was suspended overnight and has now resumed. Investigators are still unsure of the cause of the accident.

kbd/cmk (AFP, AP)