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Six people have been injured at sea after their tourist boat appeared to collide headfirst with a humpback whale, sending the small craft and its passengers soaring through the air.
Take a look at the shocking moment below:
In the video, originally posted by Mexican authorities, an open-top whale-watching boat can be seen appearing to hit something in the water off the coast of Mexico.
The vessel was then flung into the air by the force of the impact, careering out of the water with sufficient force to throw at least one passenger through the air and possibly off the vessel.
At least three people are reported to have suffered mild injuries as a result of the collision, with a further two passengers being admitted to hospital after the accident, which occurred on Friday, 22 April.
Authorities have also said that another person aboard the craft was taken by navy personnel to a clinic for treatment, Metro reports.
The clip was shared by the state civil defence office, who said the accident, which took place off the coast of the Baja California Sur city of La Paz, is currently under investigation.
Civil Protection spokesperson Benjamin Garcia said the boat’s operators may not have known the whale was underwater in the area, stating: “The whale came up from the sea and that is when it pushed the boat, with some passengers falling and suffering injuries.
“Three people were hospitalised, one of them seriously, and two others were treated at the port.”
The boat is thought to have collided with either a humpback whale or a whale shark, although it is not currently known whether the creature was injured in the crash.
Baja is regarded as one of the world’s premier spots for whale-watching, with nearly a dozen different species of whales populating its waters between January and April, according to Sea Kayak Adventures.
However, Mexican regulations say that all whale watching boats must stay a safe distance from the creatures at all times, which brings into question what the vessel was doing travelling at such a high speed so close to the mammals.
The Australian Marine Mammal Centre say that collisions between boats and cetaceans (known as ‘ship strikes’) are increasing.
"As population sizes of cetaceans increase in some areas and industries such as cruise lines, shipping, oil and gas exploration continue to grow to meet human pressures and the use of pleasure craft continues expand, an increase in cetacean collision events is occurring," they said.
"Incidents can affect cetacean populations and human life and property."
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