Jason Breen, 55 of Australia was spending Sunday afternoon windsurfing. This means he uses an inflatable wing attached to his surfboard to fly around on the oceans when the weather is right. Sunday the sea was pretty flat and the wind was right for some wind powered surfing. The surfer usually has a strap attached to his ankle to the board in case for some reason he gets dumped, the surfer can find the surface and his board very easily. Jason also carries a GoPro camera to record his adventures playing the wind and his surfboard for hours. It was such a beautiful sunny day something else came up for a trip topside…a baby humpback whale.
Hair-raising footage filmed on his GoPro action camera showed the moment the juvenile humpback hurled itself out of the water and hit the Newport man off the coast of Mona Vale Beach in Sydney’s north. Jason toppled underneath the graceful whale and was pushed under the whale as it flopped back into the ocean. Jason estimates he was carried down 20 or 30 feet. He was caught as the whale dove deeper with him on one side and his board on the other with his safety strap under the whale. “It probably dragged me 20 or 30 feet under. To be honest, I thought it was all over, then I felt my leash break and I thought, ‘Thank God’ and he came up to the top.” Mr. Breen said he believed it was the baby whale’s smaller size and shorter life in the ocean that helped him to survive. “It was a big calf, if it had barnacles I would have been ripped apart because the whale’s body was beside me the whole time,” he said. Jason’s own GoPro captured the action, but so did Paul Netteback who was passing by “filming Breen surf by pure coincidence when he witnessed the whale topple him,” according to 9News.
Whales as they age collect barnacles that look like rocky mushrooms on their skin. These parasites are very sharp edged and tough. So a whale scraping by you could saw off your skin and leave you to bleed to death. Fortunately for Jason the calf had not lived long enough to get many barnacles and his safety strap broke as man, board and whale went deeper. As an experienced swimmer and diver Jason looked for the surface and in a couple of minutes was treading water breathing and looking for his board which appeared a couple of meters away. Paul Netteback, was also filming the incident by pure chance. “I wanted to keep filming but then I thought someone might have just died, so I stopped filming and I got the emergency services number ready,” Mr Netteback said. Last summer, a humpback whale body-slammed a 19-foot boat off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, seriously damaging the vessel, but thankfully not injuring any of the passengers. Jason emerged from the incident unscathed, but with a whale of a tale to tell.
Big Mammal coming up
What’s with the sudden influx of Killer Whale attacks on boats?
I went to a Save the Whales themed costume party as a whale and got chatting to someone dressed as a dolphin. We just clicked.
What is a dolphin’s favorite TV show?
Whale of fortune!
Did you know: It’s illegal to hunt whales in Arizona?
(Arizona is land locked.)
October 26th Birthdays
1947 – Jaclyn Smith, 1995 – Allie DeBerry, 1963 – Natalie Merchant, 1984 – Amanda Overmyer
1946 – Pat Sajak, 1964 – Tom Cavanaugh, 1969 – Keith Urban, 1883 – Napoleon Hill