Cruise

Maritime safety watchdog quashes reports Horizontal Falls boat capsized, reveals real cause of accident

Australia’s maritime safety watchdog has revealed further details about the Horizontal Falls boat crash that left dozens of tourists injured on Friday.

A spokesperson for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) told Travel Weekly it can conform the vessel, Falls Express, did not capsize and no people fell in the water, as was initially reported by WA Police commander Brad Sorrell.

The spokesperson said the boat appears to have collided with a rock wall.

Two AMSA inspectors have examined the site of the crash and interviewed staff from Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures, the tour company which operates Falls Express.

Falls Express was carrying 26 passengers and two crew through the narrow falls, guided by an experienced skipper, when it found itself in trouble at around 7am on Friday morning at the popular tourist attraction in the Kimberly region about 250km northeast of Broome.

The tour operator also confirmed the vessel did not capsize and no passengers were in the water.

“It immediately returned to the pontoon and the team worked closely with The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and emergency services to provide assistance to injured guests,” Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures said in a statement.

The tour operator has temporarily suspended operations up until and including 10 June 2022 in response to the incident and is in the process of following up with every guest impacted as well as those whose bookings have been affected.

Following the accident, injured passengers were taken to Broome hospital via four Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft and those with more serious injuries were taken to Royal Perth Hospital.

Royal Perth Hospital’s head of general surgery, Dieter Weber told WA Today that the patients were aged from 46 to those in their 70s, with injuries ranging from broken bones to head injuries.


Image: horizontalfallsadventures.com.au



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