SANTA BARBARA (AP) — A surfer learned the hard way not to come between a momma gray whale and her baby.

Captain Dennis Longaberger says his Sunset Kidd boat tour group was watching two mother whales nurse their babies Friday off the Santa Barbara coast when a surfer paddled out in the middle of them.

Suddenly, Longaberger says one mother used her large fin to smack him away from her baby. The force brought the surfer down under water for roughly 30 seconds.

His surfboard shot up in the air. Finally, the surfer resurfaced, grabbing his board and paddling back to the beach, where a bystander took him to the hospital.

On Monday, the surfer looked up Longaberger to compare notes. Longaberger says he was black and blue all over, but had no broken bones.

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