United Kingdom

A teenager who was headbutted by a  10-metre whale wakes from a coma

Pictured: Nick Myhill, 18

An 18-year-old who suffered a broken neck and serious head injuries when a 10-metre whale headbutted his boat has finally woken up after eight days in a coma.

Nick Myhill's family feared the worst after the baleen whale leapt out of the water in Narooma, on the far south coast of New South Wales, and hit the deck of the five-metre vessel carrying him and his stepfather Matthew Price at 7.30am on June 6.

The 39-year-old had cuts to his face, but the teenager smashed his head on the back of the boat and was raced to hospital with injuries so severe that doctors didn't know if he would ever regain consciousness. 

But on Wednesday, a friend of the family told Daily Mail Australia that Nick miraculously came out of his coma after more than a week and remembers exactly how the tragedy unfolded.

'He is alive, awake and responsive, which is absolutely amazing considering what he has been through,' the family said.

Pictured: Nick Myhill, 18, who sustained serious head injuries and broke his neck when a whale launched itself at his boat

Pictured: Nick Myhill, 18, who was severely injured when a humpback whale hit his fishing boat on June 6

'He remembers what happened to him.'

They explained that doctors still don't know the extent of his injuries or if he will have permanent damage. 

'For now we are enjoying having our beautiful boy back and spending as much time with him as we can, and looking forward to helping him celebrate his 19th birthday on the 27th of June.' 

Following the horrific accident, Nick's stepfather - whose quick call to marine rescue saved the young man's life - said there was a 'huge black shadow' before he saw a white belly soar from the ocean.

Pictured: Matthew Price, 39, who saved his stepson Nick Myhill's life after the teen was headbutted by a whale

Pictured: The boat Mr Myhill and Mr Price were in when the whale leapt out of the water and body-slammed the deck

The fishing boat was hit by a baleen whale. There are 14 species of baleen whale, including the blue, bowhead, right, humpback, minke and grey whale (pictured: stock image of a humpback whale)

'I saw a flash of white, his belly, it was twice, maybe three times, the size of the boat and knocked the engine out,' he told the Daily Telegraph. 

'There was a big loud crash, it was like a giant truck struck us side on.' 

Mr Price said the was like a scene from a movie - it unfolded fast and he was terrified - but he managed to restart the engine and turn the boat around.

As the injured pair made their way back to shore, the stepfather frantically started calling mayday and organised for an ambulance to meet them at Narooma boat ramp. 

They were rushed to Moruya Hospital where Mr Price received stitches for cuts to his face and the back of his head, before Nick was sent to Canberra Hospital. 

Pictured: The damaged boat Mr Myhill and Mr Price were in when a humpback whale breached the deck

Pictured: The fishing boat Mr Myhill and Mr Price were in when a whale landed on it on Sunday

Mr Price said the pair went fishing together about three times a week and had been looking forward to catching a haul of king fish.

The teenager's mother Kate Myhill said she always feared his love of the ocean would be his demise.

The shattered mum described the young gardener's love of fishing and said she expected his brush with death to be with a hungry shark rather than a whale.

Pictured: Nick Myhill, 18

The small boat was heavily damaged in the incident.

Along with a series of dents, the cabin is partially destroyed, the rubber is falling off the rim of the vessel and whale blubber could be seen dangling from the edge.

In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, the family said Mr Price's quick phone call to marine rescue 'undoubtedly' saved the young man's life. 

'Matt and Nick are seasoned fishermen, and this was an accident that could have happened to anyone,' they said.

Mr Myhill is expected to be in hospital for 'some time' and his medical expenses continue to mount.

Family friend Carmen Bartley set up a Go Fund Me campaign to help cover the medical bills.

'At this stage, we don't know ... how this has affected his brain,' Ms Bartley said.

She explained the family will likely need to pay for modifications to their home to accommodate for Nick's injuries, or move to a larger home.    

'We also need to help Nick's family survive financially through this ordeal, including paying for accommodation in Canberra to be with him, hopefully without them having to leave Nick's side to return to work too soon,' she wrote. 

The family thanked friends and members of the public for their ongoing support. 

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