Humpback whale slams fishing boat in Massachusetts

No passengers were injured and only minor damage to boat was reported

Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) diving near boat, Tonga (Mike Parry / Minden Pictures / Getty Images)
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A boat off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, had a closer-than-expected encounter with nature when a breaching humpback landed on its prow.

None of the passengers on the boat, which was on a fishing excursion, were harmed during the incident on Sunday and only minor damage to the vessel was reported.

“It was insane, the guy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all,” Ryder Parkhurst, who witnessed the event, told NBC10.

“Pops up, bang … right on the bow of the guy’s boat.”

The Plymouth Harbourmaster Department has said people in boats should try to remain at least 90 metres from whales to minimise interactions.

Several humpback whales had been seen in the area in previous days and many boats had travelled to catch a glimpse of the animals, The Patriot Ledger reported.

Another boat was bumped by a whale in the same area two days earlier, NBC10 said.

According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a non-profit conservation group, humpback whales can measure up to 17 metres and weigh about 40 tonnes.

Humpback whales travel to the western Atlantic, where Massachusetts is located, between March and November, retreating to warmer waters when the weather cools.

Plymouth is about 50 kilometres from New Bedford, the former whaling town made famous in Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick.

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Updated: July 25, 2022, 8:24 PM