The catamaran was on a voyage from Port Stephens to the Central Coast, when it capsized. A total of five people were onboard at the time, including a teenage girl.

Two people were rescued from the water and taken to John Hunter Hospital for assessment, a 14-year old girl and 45 year-old man.

However, the other three people were confirmed deceased at the scene and bodies were recovered from the water by Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW.

AMSA first detected the vessel’s registered distress beacon at 10 am this morning, 25 km off the Newcastle coast.

The Authority initially tasked the Westpac rescue helicopter from Belmont, which reached the scene at around 10.45 am, to find the overturned vessel.

The helicopter located the two survivors and three deceased people near the vessel. A helicopter crewman was able to recover the survivors on board to transfer them to hospital.

AMSA also tasked a rescue helicopter from Williamtown, which remained on scene until Volunteer Marine Rescue vessels from Newcastle and Port Stephens arrived to recover the bodies of the deceased.