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3 family members injured when boat collides with humpback whale in Alaska

Three family members on a recreational boat were injured, one seriously, after it collided with a humpback whale, authorities said. CBS affiliate KTVA reported the collision happened Saturday just outside Auke Bay, north of Juneau, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said in a statement.

The Coast Guard relayed information to NOAA that the boat immediately returned to shore, where some family members were transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.

Hospital spokeswoman Katie Bausler said three people were taken to the hospital. Two were discharged, but one was flown to a Seattle hospital. That person had a substantial internal injury caused by the collision, Assistant Chief Travis Mead with the Capital City Fire Rescue said.

Bausler said the person sent to Seattle and one person discharged were from out-of-state, and the third person was from Alaska.

Adult female humpbacks average about 49 feet in length and weigh around 35 tons, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Male humpbacks are slightly smaller.

"We do not know the fate of the whale at this point," said Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman for NOAA Fisheries Alaska region.

NOAA says it has not received any reports of an injured or dead whale in the area since the collision,  KTVA reported.

This is at least the second time in three weeks that a whale has collided with a boat. Last month in New Jersey, two people survived after they were tossed into the ocean when a breaching whale capsized their boat along the shore. The whale, which appeared to be a humpback, did not appear to be injured.

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