Tour boat in Mexico hits whale or whale shark, 6 injured

LA PAZ, Mexico (AP) — A small Mexican tour boat hit a whale or a whale shark off the Baja California Sur coastal city of La Paz, injuring a half dozen people, authorities said Saturday.

The state civil defense office posted a video clip showing the open boat, which had an awning, hit something in the open water. The boat careens out of the water with sufficient force to throw at least one passenger through the awning and possibly off the vessel.

The office said three children aboard the craft suffered light injuries, but two adults were hospitalized after the accident, which occurred Friday. The office said another person aboard the craft was taken by navy personnel to a clinic for treatment.

Mexican regulations require boats involved in whale watching to stay a safe distance from the creatures, but the boat involved in Friday’s incident did not appear to be engaged in whale watching — or watching out for whales.

The civil defense office said the accident is under investigation. The video, and the leap the boat made after hitting the creature, suggest it was going at a high rate of speed.

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