Fisherman describes moment whale landed on boat

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

SEASIDE PARK, NJ (CNN/NEXSTAR) — A fisherman in New Jersey was thrown overboard when a whale landed on his boat, according to WABC.

Robert Riley first encountered a large school of bunker fish that he and a fellow fisherman knew would attract sea bass. But they had no idea a juvenile whale was also feeding on the same school of fish.

“Maybe 6 feet in front of me, kind of like if you ever saw ‘Jaws,'” Riley said. “The fish just breached the water, and I was like, ‘This is landing on us.'”

After being hit by the whale, the boat ended up beached along the shore.

“Probably the scariest part — the part I’ll never get out — is the whale coming out of the water,” Riley said.

He said the only thing he remembers is hearing the whale slam down on the boat.

“The noise from the whale hitting the boat, it was like a thud that you would … I mean it was loud,” Riley said.

The whale apparently lingered for a while after losing some of its skin in the collision.

Amanda Brefach, who witnessed the encounter, took pictures of the whale close to shore.

“We saw a lot of fish jumping around beside him,” Brefach said. “And the mouth would come up out of the water, and it looks like he was feeding on the little baitfish.”

Riley, who usually fishes in the bay, said after the whale encounter, he’s steering clear of the ocean.

“It’s a memory I’ll never get rid of, but I got to say I don’t think I’ll ever be in the ocean again,” he said.

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