One man lost consciousness and three others suffered fractures in the face or ribs during a collision between a whale and a sport fishing boat off the coast of Australia. craft.
The nine-meter-long ship returned to the port in the Whitsundays archipelago, off Queensland, with eight passengers aboard, when a humpback whale struck it from below, lifting it in the air.
“In a fraction of a second we all hit the ground, the boat took off and nobody was standing on its feet,” Captain Oliver Galea told AFP after the accident on Saturday. “Nobody understood what was going on.”
A 71-year-old South African lost consciousness, and was cared for by the crew. Four other occupants of the boat were taken to the hospital: the captain for a head injury that required eight stitches, and three tourists for fractures in the nose, ribs and face.
“We see whales all the time, but we never heard of any such event,” Galea said, adding that some of the passengers had seen in the water what they thought was a Humpback whale after the accident.
Each year, humpback whales migrate from northern Antarctica to the warmer climate of the Australian coastline to mate and give birth. They can reach up to 16 meters in length.
This event did not reach “the good mood” of the passengers, who found themselves Sunday to eat their catch the day before, according to the captain.
“The most important thing is that we all returned, and now we have some war wounds to show,” he added.