Teen knocked out by whale

2011-06-27 10:00
Sydney - A teenager was recovering on Monday after being swiped by the tail of a whale that surfaced near his boat during a fishing trip off the Australian coast and knocked him out.

The Hall family took their dinghy out on Sunday morning just north of Brooms Head in New South Wales and were watching a large number of frolicking whales when one emerged from the water.

"It all happened within seconds," Drew Hall's mother Karen told the local Daily Examiner newspaper.

"I was sitting backwards in the boat looking at Drew and the tail just whacked him and sent him flying.

"I thought Drew was dead. I looked at him and thought he was gone - he was blue," she added. "He was totally unconscious. It took about five minutes before we could get him to move or make a noise."

They rushed the 13-year-old back to shore where they were met by paramedics who took him to hospital with a broken collarbone and an "egg" sized lump on his head.

Humpback and southern right whales migrate along Australia's east coast each year as they head north away from Antarctica to the more temperate, sub-tropical climates of north Queensland during June and July.

Last week two people were injured and their boat suffered extensive damage after it collided with a whale off the Brisbane coast.

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