An Australian fishing charter boat was tossed into the air when a humpback whale fiercely slammed into the boat when breaching Saturday near the Whitsunday Islands off the northeast coast of Queensland.
The eight occupants of the 28-foot aluminum were violently thrown to the ground with two being knocked unconscious and Captain Oliver Galea suffering a huge gash in his forehead, according to the Australia Broadcasting Corp.
"He's come up—or she—and she's thrown the boat up in the air with a bit of a twist and dislodged everyone off their feet within half a second," Galea told ABC. "Nobody hears of it—it's not something that happens commonly—it's just a one-off, one in a million.
"It happened so fast we didn't know what we hit or what happened. Then we saw a whale in the distance behind us.
"We believe it breached under the boat. Normally you see them coming or they swim away from boats."
Rachel Carpenter, co-owner of the boat, told ABC it was a miracle nobody died.
“There could have been so many worse scenarios; they’re so lucky they landed upright in the water and the boat wasn’t capsized and nobody was thrown out of the boat,” she told ABC.
Several occupants suffered broken bones, according to 9 News. ABC reported that Galea was hospitalized with severe facial injuries and three other men that were injured had been released.
The boat also suffered damage with large dents in the side, and the whale disabled one of the boat's two 150 hp motors, so Galea returned to shore using only one engine.
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