Australia

NSW boat tragedy survivors leave hospital

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A teenage girl and her father rescued after a catamaran overturned in rough seas off Newcastle have been released from hospital.

A teenage girl and her father have been released from hospital after they were rescued when a catamaran overturned and killed three people in rough seas off Newcastle.

The 16-year-old and 50-year-old man were found clinging for their lives when authorities reached the boat about seven nautical miles off Stockton Beach on Thursday morning.

They were winched from the water and taken to John Hunter Hospital to be treated for hypothermia. The pair was released on Friday.

The girl's 78-year-old grandmother and grandfather, from Glenhaven in Sydney's north west, did not survive.

Their male friend, who was living on the Central Coast, also died.

The three bodies were eventually retrieved by Marine Rescue.

The 11.7-metre catamaran had left Shoal Bay earlier on Thursday and was heading south towards Ettalong Beach on the Central Coast.

Police talk to media about the catamaran tragedy.
Police talk to media about the catamaran tragedy.
AAP

Westpac Rescue Helicopter pilot Graeme Anderson said the girl and her father were left shaken by the incident.

"The conditions out there were really really poor. Strong winds, large waves. We were lucky that we got there," he told Nine's Today Show on Friday.

"They were shaken and very upset. They were suffering hypothermia and a slight knock to the head from bashing up against the vessel, but they're very stable."

Detective Acting Superintendent Grant Healey said it was unclear how the boat capsized, with police yet to properly speak with the survivors.

The catamaran overturned about seven nautical miles from Newcastle.
The catamaran overturned about seven nautical miles from Newcastle.
Google Maps

"Our detectives spoke to them last night and they were very distressed," he told Seven's Sunrise.

"We're going to see them today."

Authorities say all five people were wearing life jackets.

A strong wind warning had been issued for the region, and remains in place for the Hunter, Macquarie, Sydney, Illawarra and Batemans Bay on Friday and Saturday.

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