Surfer hospitalised after whale knocks him off his board
A SURFER is in hospital after a humpback whale knocked him off his board at the busy Bondi Beach.
Onlookers lined the busy Sydney beach on Sunday morning to watch the solo humpback whale get up close and personal with a group of surfers.
The whale, compared to the size of a bus, was about 30 metres from the shore when it came into contact with a surfer.
The male surfer was pulled from the water and transported to St Vincent's Hospital by ambulance.
A NSW Ambulance spokesman said fellow surfers and lifeguards helped the man in from the surf and onto the beach.
"We were called about 10:30am with reports a patient was knocked unconscious by a whale at Bondi," he said.
"Reports are while surfing, he was quite close to a whale and the whale smashed him off his board and he was knocked unconscious."
The spokesman said the man was conscious was paramedics arrived and placed in a neck brace as a precaution.
Gold Coast woman Bernie Howard was watching the frolicking whale from the iconic Icebergs restaurant.
"I was watching the whale and thinking that thing is so close to all of the surfers," she said.
"Next thing they got the surfer out of the water and onto a stretcher."
Mrs Howard said a man who was surfing said the whale's tail hit the surfer in the head.
"He said it was really bad to look at and his board was a mess," she recalled.
Bondi resident Laura Middlebrook said it looked like surfers had paddled out about 20 metres to get closer to the whale.
"It was so bizarre how close it got the shore," she said.
"Because the surfers were so close to it when it was moving around, there was no doubt the whale was touching some of them."