The whale made an appearance among the wave riders at Sydney's famed Bondi Bay early Sunday and sent one of them flying with its tail.
"They were playing and the whale was frolicking with them and having a lot of fun and sort of popping its head out," beachgoer Lachlan Harris told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "It just flicked its tail ... the next thing you know a surfboard is flying in the air (and) swimmers are getting thrown out of the water. It was unbelievable."
The flying surfboard apparently belonged to Bishan Rajapaske, 38, who said from St. Vincent's Hospital the last thing he remembered before waking up on the beach was seeing the whale, which was "the size of a bus," directly underneath him.
"It's better to look at them from afar, but it is pretty hard to move away from that temptation, because I guess the whale was looking so placid," said Rajapakse, who was treated for head and shoulder injuries.
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