Tourists rescued from blazing boat off New Zealand coast

Published: Monday 18th January 2016 by The News Editor

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Sixty people have been rescued from a tourist boat that caught fire off the coast of New Zealand.

The fire broke out aboard the PeeJay on Monday afternoon local time as it was returning from White Island to the town of Whakatane.

The 53 passengers and seven crew members were forced to leap overboard to escape the fire, with two taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Police spokeswoman Kim Perks said the boat was just over half a mile from the shore when it sent a mayday, allowing the coastguard and smaller vessels to reach it quickly.

Volcanically-active White Island, 31 miles off the North Island coast, is popular with tourists.

Published: Monday 18th January 2016 by The News Editor

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