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One tail flick is all it would've taken. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald | Ian Hansen

One tail flick is all it would’ve taken. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald | Ian Hansen


The Inertia

Man’s fascination with sea life continues this week as a group of surfers and swimmers at Freshwater Beach, New South Wales, harassed a large southern right whale. According to one source, the surfers got too close and formed a circle around the large animal, whose species has been known to be a bit mercurial.

All it would’ve taken is one tail flick from one of the ocean’s biggest creatures and there could easily have been a hospital visit involved. Luckily, that didn’t happen as whale tails are among the strongest muscles in the animal kingdom and can deliver enough force to prove fatal.

After last year’s run-in with a right whale at Bondi Beach during which a surfer was injured, this incident reinforces the importance of respect for these creatures. Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club Executive Officer, Wayne Freakly, got on the loudspeaker and asked those in the vicinity to move away and stick to the rules. Swimmers must remain 30 meters away from whales while surfers and boats are capped at 100 meters. Clearly, both were violated here.

While whales aren’t typically aggressive animals, they will defend themselves if provoked. If you’re swimming and happen upon one of these majestic animals, don’t let your curiosity get the best of you. Admire from a distance.

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