Whale Watchers Injured

News
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 10:29am

Rogue wave leaves high school class battered and bruised.

Several students were rushed to the hospital, left battered and bruised by rough seas Monday after a field trip off the coast of Massachusetts took a rough turn.

Teenagers from Barnstable High School were on a whale watching tour when a huge wave hit their boat.

“We were hitting big waves the whole time, but once we hit there was just one big one,” said Sean Donahu, student. “You just heard a big thump, you heard some girls scream down below.”

Shaina Holden needed several stitches in her lip.

Her mother says the wave actually tossed her daughter into the air.

“She was actually air bound,” said Laura Holden. “She says she came right up off her feet when the wave hit and she hit the ground and again, it could have been a lot worse.”

The students are studying ecology and marine biology.

The principal says field trips at sea are not uncommon, but accidents rarely happen.

“We take advantage of the natural surroundings here…but I’ve never had that type of incident where students were injured on a boat,” said Barnstable High School Principal Patrick Clark.

According to the Coast Guard the boat was about five miles north of Race Point when the wave hit with 47 Barnstable High School students on board.

Many students were standing on the bow.

“Everyone’s like, ‘I can’t move, I can’t move. Get help!’” said Liz Bradley.

“Three of them were just sitting there in shock holding their faces…the ones who got hit in the face,” said Austin Firley. “And then the other two were on the ground kind of screaming.”

Students say the captain immediately shut off the engine and turned the 106-foot vessel around.

Rescue workers met the boat at MacMillan Pier in Provincetown.

“There was one girl…she had a broken nose…blood everywhere,” said Ryan Smith. “Another kid I think busted his chin open and I think the worst injury was a knee injury. The girl might have dislocated her kneecap.”

Five students were taken to Cape Cod Hospital and treated for minor injuries.
 

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