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Whale knocks surfer unconscious in Australia

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Surfers hit the waves at the popular Bondi beach in Sydney, on January 4, 2013. A local surfer had a lucky escape on Sunday when he was hit by a whale frolicking off Bondi and knocked unconscious.AFP/File

A Sydney surfer had a lucky escape on Sunday when he was hit by a whale frolicking off Bondi Beach and knocked unconscious.

New South Wales Ambulance said several whales were close to the iconic beach. Paramedics were called in to help when one of the large animals hit, or flicked with its tail, the male surfer or his board, knocking him out.

"He was knocked unconscious very briefly," the spokesman told AFP, adding that the man was rescued by fellow surfers and is now in a stable condition in hospital.

He said the man had pain down one side, but was not seriously injured.

"He is lucky people were there (to help him), but we were also lucky that he's the only one (needing help)," the spokesman said.

One witness told the ABC that the whale was "the size of a bus" and had been frolicking with a group of surfers.

"I mean, it was 40 feet long - it was huge," Lachlan Harris told the broadcaster.

"They were playing and the whale was frolicking with them and having a lot of fun and sort of popping its head out.

"It just flicked its tail and some surfers were in the wrong (place) and the next thing, you know, a surfboard is flying in the air... It was unbelievable."