Australia is full of terrifying wildlife; from huge sharks to curious crocodiles, you have to be brave to step out into the continent’s wilderness. However, one risky run-in we never anticipated was this: a Syndey-based windsurfer found himself slammed by a juvenile humpback whale while out on the water.
As reported by 9News, 55-year-old Jason Breen was surfing at Mona Vale when the incident occurred. Thankfully, he had a GoPro camera attached to the front of his board that allowed him to capture the entire incident on film.
WATCH: The Aussie surfer takes the hit like a champ.
While cruising along, a juvenile whale suddenly leaps from the water and comes crashing down on Breen, who was pulled underwater during the collision. Thankfully, the whale also came crashing down on the leash connecting Breen to his board, snapping it and allowing Breen to quickly come back to the surface.
“It probably dragged me 20 or 30 feet under, to be honest.”Jason Breen
Remarkably, Breen escaped totally unharmed. Breen believes that this is due, in large part, to the age of the whale. Had the animal been older, not only would it have been considerably heavier — adult humpbacks can weigh up to 36 metric tonnes — but it would likely have been covered in sharp objects:
“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.”
A passerby named Paul Nettleback also caught the event on camera from an alternate angle as he ha spotted the whale getting ever closer to Breen before finally breaking the water’s surface and leaping into the air.
While Nettleback’s first impulse had been to continue filming the event, given its almost unbelievable nature, he ultimately resisted and chose to call the local emergency services instead to ensure that Breen got back to dry land safely.
This incident comes only weeks after a Sydney duo encountered a Great White Shark just off the city’s coastline, marvelling at its size but maintaining a far safer distance than Breen was able to. A Queenslander had a close call much more akin to Breen’s in winter, when a massive Saltwater Crocodile snuck up behind him, seemingly eyeing him up as a potential protein-packed snack.
All of this is to say, be careful out there folks. Australia is a beautiful place, but you never know what’s hiding in plain sight…