A small boat nearly capsized close to an Ocean County beach after a whale struck the vessel late Monday morning.
The incident happened near the shoreline off D Street in Seaside Park. Photos from the scene show the boat upright on the beach.
On the Friends of Seaside Park Facebook page, an eyewitness said both boat passengers were thrown from the vessel when the whale breached and landed on the boat, which tipped back-and-forth before nearly capsizing. Beachgoers said the whale continued to swim and breach after the collision.
No injuries were reported, and the boaters got back onto the boat before it came ashore, according to a statement from the Seaside Park Police Department. Police say the whale appeared to be fine and that the boat was being removed Monday afternoon.
Robert Schoelkopf, executive director of the Brigantine-based Marine Mammal Stranding Center, told APP.com that the boaters were fishing and the whale was likely a humpback chasing bunker.
It’s the third incident involving a whale colliding with a boat off the New Jersey coast in recent years. In November 2016, a whale rammed a boat off Asbury Park, and in August 2018, a whale capsized a boat off Deal.