Violent awakening as whale drags boat for 200m
TWO men on a fishing trip off Fraser Island were left with a whale of a tale after their 5.2m boat was taken for a ride on the back of a marine behemoth.
The offshore incident was named as one of insurance group Youi's "quirkiest" claims for 2019.
The insurer's public relations head, Belinda Zordan, said the two men received their rude, pre-dawn awakening from the whale in mid-June, "violently" woken off Breaksea Spit about 4.30am.
The impact was so hard the owner was thrown from his bed and gashed his head on a wall.
The entangled whale then "towed" the men more than 200m at a speed of 6.8 knots (as calculated by the boat's instruments). They cut the anchor line free after several attempts, leaving the whale to continue on its journey.
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"At one point they could see the whale's blow hole on one side of the boat and its tail on the other," Ms Zordan said.
"Both of the men were fine, the whale was fine. The boat? Not so much."
The boat suffered stress fractures to its hull below the waterline - outside and internally - and stress fractures to its front mooring bollard.
Other quirky claims lodged with Youi last year included one for structural and contents damage to a house, caused by two cats that fell through its roof during a fight, and one from a jetski enthusiast whose boat struck an object and sunk in a freshwater dam.
He swam 500m through murky, reedy waters back to shore, then trekked 25km back to the boat ramp in the bush.