Humpback Whale Body-Slams Surfer and Surfer Lives to Tell the Tale

Source: Wikimedia/ Whit Welles / (Source: Tiktok @ ctvnews)

Some stories are so wild that you have to see them in order to believe they really happened. The story of Jason Breen, a 55-year-old Australian man who was body slammed by a humpback whale while surfing, might have been one of those people whose stories was dismissed as too crazy to be true. That is, if he hadn’t caught the entire thing on tape.

An Unbelievable Beginning

Jason Breen was out on the waves earlier this month, wingfoiling near Mona Vale Beach in Sydney, Australia. It was an average day, up until the point where a humpback whale jumped out of the water and slammed on top of his boat, immediately dragging him down 20-30 feet under the water.

(Source: Tiktok @ ctvnews)

Jason’s go-pro was on the entire time, catching the stunning event as the whale started to drag him through the water. Jason was able to feel the side of the whale the entire time he was being pulled through the water, and the smooth skin led him to believe that the whale was a youth.

Whales Are Impressive Creatures

Humpback whales are a type of baleen whale, and they are the largest whale species in the world. They can grow up to 60 feet and weigh up to 40 tons, making the fact that Jason survived his encounter with the whale even more astounding.

Source: Wikimedia/ Whit Welles

Humpbacks can live up to 90 years in total, and they range all over the world. As they get older, many humpback whales experience the attachment of barnacles to their skin – a symbiotic relationship that benefits the barnacle but doesn’t harm the whale.

The Youth of the Whale is What Saved Him

The knowledge of whale barnacles is what led Jason to believe that the whale who landed on him was young. In a later video, he said that he was grateful for the lack of barnacles on the whale. Since they were swimming so close together, if there had been barnacles on the whale they would have shredded Jason to pieces.

Source: Tiktok/ctvnews

Even so, Jason didn’t get away from the whale unscathed. In the video, it shows him being pulled along beside the whale helplessly. He couldn’t get away, he couldn’t breathe, and Jason admitted in a video that he thought, in that moment, that he wouldn’t survive the encounter.

Bystanders Waited For Him To Resurface

Unbeknownst to Jason, while he was struggling under the water with the whale, there were other people back on land who had seen what was happening. A bystander on the beach saw Jason go under, and he had dialed the Australian emergency number to be ready in case Jason didn’t resurface.

Source: Tiktok/ctvnews

The whale dragged Jason along for a little while, and just when Jason was ready to give up hope, he felt the leg rope that the whale had caught snap. The whale continued to swim, leaving Jason behind, and he was able to finally claw his way up to the surface.

The Footage is Something to See

Between Jason’s go-pro and the observer on land who had been filming him before he went to dial the emergency number, the footage captured of the entire event is incredible to see. Jason later recognized that even getting the footage at all was a near-miracle, since he wasn’t pointing the camera or trying to film at all.

(Source: Tiktok @ ctvnews)

More than anything, Jason recognizes exactly how lucky he is that he was, miraculously, not seriously injured. Leg ropes are not meant to break when you’re out on the open ocean, as they’re meant to keep you tethered to your surfboard or other water sports equipment in case you fall overboard.

A Lot of Little Things Allowed Jason to Live

The fact that the rope fractured and snapped exactly when it did is the only thing that saved Jason’s life. The other element that likely allowed him to walk away unscathed is the youth of the whale that landed on him. Extra large animals like humpback whales are difficult to apprehend, and it’s a dangerous feat to even attempt it.

Source: Instagram @ brookepykephotography

The entire story is wild, and Jason recognizes exactly how unbelievable it is that he survived the whale. In a video, he stated that the entire situation was a one-in-a-million occurrence, and that if he had been dragged any further out to sea, he likely would have been a goner.

Not the Only Run-In With Whales

Jason isn’t the first, or only person to have close experiences with humpback whales, either. In 2022, a humpback whale body-slammed a 19-foot boat off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts. That particular instance ended with the boat seriously damaged, but the whale and all the passengers thankfully unscathed.

Source: Instagram @ krisjonnes

Not all interactions with nature have such a happy ending, though. Last month, a 61-year-old man died after a humpback whale struck his boat and threw him, and one of his passengers off into the sea. Police investigating the incident believe that the whale likely breached near the boat, or even under the boat itself, causing the deadly mishap.

A Surprisingly Happy Ending

While some stories in the past have ended in tragedy, this particular story is one with a purely happy ending. The video of the footage has been making waves on social media, and so many people are interested in the story of the man who survived an encounter with a whale.

Source: Facebook @ Jason Breen

Jason himself is simply happy to have walked away from the incident unscathed. In interviews and videos that he’s posted since the accident, he emphasizes how lucky he is that he wasn’t hurt, and that interactions with nature are simply a part of being on the ocean. Whether he’ll allow this encounter to stifle his love of water sports remains to be seen, but for now Jason is happy and very much alive.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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