News

Boy knocked unconscious by whale

Yamba Paramedics Gavin Bridges (left) and Adam Jarrett debrief after taking 13-year-old Drew Hall to hospital following a collision with a whale near Brooms Head.
Yamba Paramedics Gavin Bridges (left) and Adam Jarrett debrief after taking 13-year-old Drew Hall to hospital following a collision with a whale near Brooms Head. Debrah Novak

GETTING whacked on the head by a whale was the last thing young Drew Hall expected when he headed off fishing with his mum and dad yesterday.

The Maclean family took their dingy out early yesterday morning to try their luck in waters off Redcliffe, just north of Brooms Head.

The family noticed a large number of whales out further, happily keeping their distance.

Drew's mum, Karen, said she was enjoying watching the display of the whales blowing air from their blowholes.

Then, about 7am, the family began to slowly cruise along, looking for a better fishing spot when, without warning, a whale's tail emerged from the water and swiped the top of the boat from the bow to the stern.

“It all happened within seconds,” Karen said.

“I was sitting backwards in the boat looking at Drew and the tail just whacked him and sent him flying into the boat.”

Karen said the whale's tail took the windscreen and the cover off the boat as it swiped it down its length.

She said the whale's tail missed her completely but slammed Drew into the back of the boat.

“I thought Drew was dead. I looked at him and thought he was gone – he was blue,” she said.

“He was totally unconscious. It took about five minutes before we could get him to move or make a noise.

“When he did come round he was going in and out of consciousness all the way back in (to shore).

“We were too busy finding out if Drew was alive or dead to know what happened to the whale.”

Drew was met by paramedics from the Yamba ambulance station and transported to Maclean Hospital for treatment.

The assessment showed Drew had been left with a broken collarbone, a huge lump on his chest and an ‘egg' sized lump on his head.

“I can't believe this. Drew is the keenest fisherman; he just lives to go fishing,” Karen said.

“He did manage to catch two rock cod before it happened, though.”

Just a few days ago, local trawler the El Margo had a whale encounter of its own.

A whale became tangled between the boat and its stay arm before managing to free itself.

Topics:  whale



Youth speak out online to start mental health conversation

SHARING STORY: Connor Tarrant is trying to help promote mental healthfor young people.

Connor Tarrant wants to help others by sharing his story online

Luke Douglas ends record-breaking NRL career

Titans player Luke Douglas takes the ball forward during the round 14 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canterbury Bulldogs at CBus Stadium on the Gold Coast, Sunday, June 14, 2015. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Prop forward set to make switch to St Helens

Get ready to rock out in the clover at Pillar Valley

The Ninth Chapter will head to Pillar Valley on Sunday to join the local talent lining up for Rocktober in the Clover.

Get ready to Rocktober in the Clover on Sunday

Local Partners

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Caravana Sun and friends set to shine at Yamba

GROOVE: Caravana Sun are set to rock Yamba Golf Club on Friday, September 30 along with friends Nocturnal Tapes and Nick & Sam.

Caravana Sun and friends set to shine at Yamba

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

Justice Crew: Grafton to host one of only seven shows

Pop sensations Justice Crew are heading to the Clarence next on Thursday, October 6 o perform their new show It's What We Do.

Justice Crew brings new show to Saraton Theatre

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Clarence Valley property prices go through the roof

Buyers are hungry to sink their teeth into the Clarence Valley

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction