A woman is currently in a serious but stable condition in a Perth hospital after being crushed between two humpback whales while swimming with them in waters off the north-west coast of Western Australia.
As per WA Today, the 29-year-old woman was diving with a boat charter at the popular Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth, when she accidentally got sandwiched between two whales. She was airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, with suspected fractured ribs and internal bleeding.
It’s reported that other people on the same chartered tour were also treated on the scene for bruising.
The injured woman is expected to make a full recovery from the accident (which, let’s be real, would have been terrifying) and 7News reports that Worksafe will be looking into the incident.
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According to the Coral Coast website, many rules are in place when swimming with humpback whales, in particular, including boats maintaining a distance of 50m from the mammals and only entering the water in groups of seven divers with one certified divemaster guide, who is responsible for making sure swimmers keep a safe distance.
Swimming and diving with humpback whales around the Ningaloo Reef and Marine Park have been on trial since mid-2016, and will continue through until 2023, with a potential of turning into a permanent, licensed industry by 2024.