More than 80 people were injured when a Japanese ferry collided with “marine life” that officials believe was a whale. It wasn’t immediately known what happened to the animal.
As many as 13 travelers were seriously hurt in the Saturday crash, which opened a six-inch crack in the stern, the Japan Times reported. The ferry’s hydrofoil supports were also damaged.
The ferry, which left left from Niigata on Japan’s main island of Honshu, continued on to to its destination of Sado Island after the accident, the Associated Press reported.
The seriously injured passengers could be seen being removed from the ship on stretchers when the boat docked.
“It was a huge impact,” a passenger said.
“My throat hit the seat in front of me. People around me were moaning,” another traveler told reporters, according to the Japan Times.
The jetfoil owned by the Sado Steam Ship Company was carrying 121 passengers and four crew members. The ferry travels about 51 mph. The accident occurred about three-quarters into the hour-long journey to Sado.
Both minke and humpback whales are regularly in the area.
Coast Guard officials are continuing to investigate.