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Humpback whale lands on a boat in Australia, leaves 18-year-old severely injured

A humpback whale landed on top of a boat in Narooma, Australia, on Sunday, injuring two people who were fishing, one of them, an 18-year-boy, is seriously injured and hospitalised, local authorities said.

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Humpback whale lands on a boat in Australia, leaves 18-year-old severely injured
A humpback whale breaches off South Africa's coast in a file photo. (Reuters)
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A humpback whale landed on top of a boat in Narooma, Australia, on Sunday, injuring two people who were fishing, one of them, an 18-year-boy, is seriously injured and hospitalised, local authorities said.

According to a report in Nine News, the national news service of the Nine Network in Australia reported that the 18-year-old was fishing along with a 39-year-old man, who suffered a concussion after the incident and who drove the damaged boat back to shore.

The whale surfaced from under the boat and crashed down onto the small vessel after which the two men arose a mayday signal. The 18-year-old remains in critical condition and was airlifted from Moruya Hospital to Canberra Hospital. Meanwhile, the older man was treated at the Moruya Hospital for facial lacerations and a concussion.

Maritime NSW has launched an investigation into the incident, with authorities urging skippers to stay alert while on the water during this season's whale migration along the NSW coast.

Marine Area Commander, Superintendent Joe McNulty, said, "While inquiries are in their infancy, the incident demonstrates the dangers these mammals can pose to those on the water."

"In recent days, the number of whales migrating north has dramatically increased, and maritime authorities have received reports they're travelling closer to the coast than in previous years. Given the proximity to the shoreline, there is potential for some spectacular whale watching, but we encourage anyone hoping to get a closer look to maintain a safe distance as outlined in the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017," he added. 

Reports state that during the incident the whale may also have been injured.

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