Teen critically injured after whale breached, landed on boat

Teen critically injured after whale breached, landed on boat
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An Australian teenager is in critical condition after a whale breached and landed on the boat he was aboard on Sunday, CNN reports.

Nick Myhill, 18, was on a recreational fishing vessel off the south coast of New South Wales at the time of the incident, about 200 miles south of Sydney. Local law enforcement received a MAYDAY call shortly after the animal made contact with the boat.

Myhill, and his step-father Matt, were both transported to a local hospital, where the older man was treated for facial lacerations and a concussion. Myhill was later airlifted to another hospital, where he remains in a coma.


"They had no warning, and no time to react. Both Nick and Matt were injured," the family told CNN. 

They added, "The extent of these injuries, and long term implications is not known yet."

Matt radioed in for help using a marine radio, and immediately turned the boat towards shore as it took on water. 

"Matt's actions no doubt saved Nick's life," the family said.

The family noted that the two are "seasoned fishermen," and warned that it could happen to anyone.

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


He noted that animal encounters may increase as whales migrate north.

"Given the close 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," he added.

The marine branch of the NSW Police said they believe the whale may have also been injured during the incident and have teams investigating further.