A Montauk-based fisherman reportedly believes his boat was struck by a whale, sending a friend overboard and knocking a hole in the vessel off the coast of Block Island on July 11.
Bill Speth was fishing with three friends when the collision occurred and the man overboard landed on the whale, multiple New England-based news outlets reported.
“We knew the whales were around, but it was just crazy,” Speth told WJAR-TV in Connecticut.
The U.S. Coast Guard responded and towed the boat to shore without incident.
Whales are a common sight in the waters south of Block Island, but it is rare to hear of one hitting a boat. Most such collisions occur when boats hit whales. Experts say boaters should turn off their engines and drift if they see whales in the area.
The incident comes a month after a lobster diver said he survived being swallowed by a whale off the coast of Cape Cod.