WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE
A whale has slammed a charter boat full of tourists into the air in the Whitsundays, knocking two unconscious and leaving others with broken bones.
The five tourists and three crew were on board the A-One Fishing Charters boat when it was struck off the coast of Bowen on Saturday.
Captain Oliver Galea suffered a deep head laceration, while several others suffered broken bones when they were rescued by the RACQ Helicopter.
Mr Galea, 44, told AAP one person suffered a fractured cheek bone, while another had two broken ribs and a third man’s nose was broken.
Mr Galea was taken to Proserpine Hospital where he received eight stitches and shared a photo on Facebook of the gaping cut he received after slamming into the hand rail.
He said in “a split second” everyone was on the ground and no one knew the cause of the impact until they saw the whale moving away.
“There was no sign of it. It was a very rare, freak accident,” he said.
Whales often come near the boats, but are easily spotted from their blow-hole and tend to stay away from the engine noises, he said.
The collision left a dent in the boat and knocked out one of the engines.
Despite being an out-of-the-ordinary tourist experience, Mr Galea said everyone was OK.
“We all caught up on Sunday night and we have made good friends from the experience. We are all glad we made it,” he said.