Tourists flung into the air after their boat hits a whale

Six people were injured after their boat is thought to have hit a whale and was flung out of the sea, sending them flying.

Video shows how the tourist boat in Mexico hit something in the water and was thrown up by the force of the impact, with the bow tipping up at a 45 degree angle.

As the small open boat gets metres of air, people on board can be seen falling after losing their seat, into the awning and possibly off the vessel itself.

Three children on board had minor injuries, but two adults needed to be hospitalised after it happened on April 22, while another person was taken by Navy personnel to be treated at clinic.

The clip was shared by the state civil defense office, who said the accident, off the coast of the Baja California Sur city of La Paz, is 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.

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‘Three people were hospitalised, one of them seriously, and two others were treated at the port.’

Baja is renowned as one of the world’s best spots for whale watching between January and April, with species including humpbacks, blue, orca, minke, fin, Bryde’s, sperm, sei, and the grey whales of the eastern Pacific found in its waters.

Mexican regulations say that all whale watching boats must stay a safe distance from the creatures.

But this boat did not seem to be on a whale watching trip.

Video footage, and the height it was sent into the air, suggest the boat was travelling quickly before hitting the creature.

The boat is thought to have hit either a whale or a whale shark. It is not clear whether the creature was injured.

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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