A teenager was critically injured in Australia after a whale jumped onto his fishing boat, CNN reported Wednesday.
Nick Myhill, 18, was fishing off the coast of New South Wales (NSW) with his stepfather Matt when a whale breached the water and landed on their vessel, according to the report.
Both men were transferred to the hospital by paramedics. The teenager’s step-father Matt was treated for facial lacerations and a concussion. Myhill was later airlifted to a hospital in Canberra, where he remains in critical but stable condition after suffering head and neck injuries.
A teenager in Australia is in critical condition after a whale leaped from the water and landed on the fishing boat he was in https://t.co/BZfwcNf3y5
— CNN (@CNN) June 9, 2021
The family of the injured men told CNN the pair had “no warning and no time to react.”
“Both Nick and Matt were injured. Matt was able to quickly get them back to shore, using the VHF (very high-frequency marine radio) to make a mayday call on the way, to organize an ambulance to meet them on arrival at the boat ramp. Matt’s actions no doubt saved Nick’s life,” the family said in the statement.
“Matt and Nick are seasoned fishermen, and this was an accident that could have happened to anyone,” the statement added. The family also thanked medical professionals for their help and said the injured teenager is “fighting hard.”
The NSW Marine Area Command Police Force warned fellow boaters Tuesday to keep a “safe distance” and “be aware of surroundings” while on the water during the season’s whale migration. (RELATED: Experts Say This White Whale May Be A Russian Spy)
Marine Area Commander Superintendent Joe McNulty said 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 traveling closer to the coast than in previous years,” the Facebook post read.
The whale involved in the incident was believed to have been injured. Authorities asked local residents to keep an eye out for a “stranded, entangled, or distressed whale.”