Matthew King
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Surfer knocked unconsious by whale at Bondi Beach

Southern right whale takes out surfer with a flick of it's tail.

A southern right whale knocked a local surfer unconscious today at Bondi Beach.

“I think its tail must have flipped up and knocked my board and I was knocked out” said Bishan Rajapakse. He ended up unconscious in the water until friends got him up on his board and paddled him to shore. Paramedics were called and he was taken to hospital for observation.

The whale had been playing in the surf, just off the beach to the obvious delight of the local surfers.

From his hospital bed Bishan recalled that “It’s pretty hard to move away from that temptation because I guess the whale was looking so placid but everyone was pretty conscious that that tail could really knock you.It just reminded me of that movie, you know, the life of pi.. I just had this flash back”

Aside from a bit of shoulder pain, Bishan apparently seems pretty ok with his whale of a tail....

On a personal note, I chose today, of all days, to do some chores around the house.  It would have been seriously awesome to see the whale up close. Mind you the tail bit I'd happily miss.

For those that like to know these things, a record 1900 whales have been sighted so far this year. Up from 1300 in 2012. This time of year they migrate up the Eastern coast of Australia and can be seen, not just off the beaches, but in Sydney harbour as well. I once saw a mother and calf at King Street wharf, which is basically downtown Sydney. It was the best lunch time stroll ever. 

Image source: ABC

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Events and things to do

  • Bondi Bondi Farmers Market Every Saturday
  • Bondi Bondi Markets Every Sunday 

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Popular activities

  • Whale watching between May and November
  • Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk and view the famous Sculpture by the Sea in early spring
  • City to Surf Fun Run, the largest running event in the world, held each year in August

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