SYDNEY, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The crew of a recreational fishing boat in Western Australia are lucky to be alive after colliding with a whale on a Sunday afternoon fishing trip.
"We got a mayday call. They hit the whale, cracked the bow of the vessel, disabled their engine and were taking water," Ian Beard, the communications officer for Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue told Xinhua on Monday.
"Luckily we had another boat close by that was responding to a separate incident in the area, so we were able to race across and help the fisherman within about 20 minutes."
"They were extremely lucky."
With three men on board, Beard said the impact of hitting the whale sent the group flying to the deck of the boat, causing one of the fishermen a suspected concussion and facial cuts.
Although the incident is somewhat unusual, Beard said boats colliding with whales on the West Coast of Australian happens more than people might think.
"We get a lot of large humpback whales coming up the coast," he explained.
"It actually happens to cruising yachts sometimes. There have been instances when sailors have broken their keel colliding with a whale."