News

Moby Dick moment relived

Thirteen-year-old Drew Hall nurses his broken collar bone and bruises yesterday after being struck by a whale’s tail while fishing in the ocean north of Brooms Head.
Thirteen-year-old Drew Hall nurses his broken collar bone and bruises yesterday after being struck by a whale’s tail while fishing in the ocean north of Brooms Head. JoJo Newby

DREW HALL isn’t going to let a little thing like being flattened by a 38 to 40 tonne whale stop him from going fishing.

In fact, the Maclean 13-year-old was very matter-of-fact about his contact with a Humpback Whale on Sunday that left him lying in the bottom of his parents’ boat unconscious with a broken collarbone, a large lump on his chest and an egg-sized lump on his head.

“I’m all right,” he said yesterday.

“I’ll get over it.

“I suppose it has opened my eyes and made me respect them a whole lot more.”

Drew was fishing with his dad Steven and mum Karen on Sunday about 7am off Red Cliff, north of Brooms Head.

They hadn’t caught much so dec-ided to try another location. Aware there were a lot of whales around, Steven was moving slowly on a calm, flat sea and keeping a close eye in front of the boat while Drew was watching the echo-sounder.

But neither saw the 12 to 13 metre humpback as it approached their vessel, striking Drew with its tail and smashing the windscreen and shade cover on the boat.

Drew said yesterday he had no memory of the events leading up to the collision ... the first he remembers is heading back to Yamba harbour and meeting the ambulance Steve had radioed ahead to organise.

And it wasn’t going to stop him ocean fishing.

“I will go out again,” he said.

“The doctors said it would take about six weeks to heal, but I’ll definitely be going out again.”

National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman Lawrence Orel said Drew and his parents were extremely lucky not to have been more severely injured.

Perhaps the last word should go to the boat itself which, ironically is named Scales and Tails – More Tales than Scales.

It certainly delivered some tales on Sunday.

Topics:  whale



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