‘I thought I was going to be crushed’: 2 fishermen nearly crushed after breaching whale lands on boat

Two fishermen were nearly crushed Monday offshore in Seaside Park when a breaching whale landed on their boat.

News 12 Staff

Jun 9, 2020, 3:21 PM

Updated 1,412 days ago

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Two fishermen were nearly crushed Monday offshore in Seaside Park when a breaching whale landed on their boat.
One of the fisherman, Jay Debenedic, says for a few seconds he found himself actually standing on the whale.
The damaged boat is currently at TowBoat US in Brick Township and is waiting for an insurance adjuster to look over the damage.
“The only words that came out of my mouth were I'm going to be crushed,” says Debenedic. “I thought I was going to be crushed.”

A perfect day on the ocean was interrupted by a breaching 35-foot humpback whale.

“Then, it hit the boat and didn't hit me, I was thrown into the water just like my friend Rob Riley,” says Debenedic. “I got in the water and I was standing on the whale, so I pushed off the whale and I ended up losing one flip flop. I saw it floating. I was going to swim for my flip flop.”

Video was taken on the beach after the two found their way back to shore.
He and his friend Rob were shaken up, but uninjured.

“I wasn't scared, I wasn't nervous, I knew I was safe, I knew nothing was broken, I didn't hit anything and I was glad to be alive,” says Debenedic.

Debenedic says they were in the middle of a patch of bunker fishing for bass, and never saw the whale. The experienced fishermen know to keep away from feeding whale. A scientist examined the residue left on the boat, and determined it was a juvenile humpback -- which should be just fine.
The damaged boat is currently at TowBoat US in Brick Township and is waiting for an insurance adjuster to look over the damage.


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