Underwatertimes.com News Service - September 13, 2006 19:54 EST

A wooden boat carrying a crew of six sunk in Indonesian waters after it was hit by a pod of passing whales, a report said on Wednesday.

The crew were rescued early on Tuesday by passing fishing boats after spending five hours afloat on drums, the ‘Kompas’ daily reported, quoting Jusman, the captain of the ill-fated boat.

He told the daily that the vessel had left the Indonesian portion of Borneo island on Monday bound for South Sulawesi across the Makassar Strait but it crossed paths with the whales several hours later.

"Those animals hit our boat and caused it to leak. Not long afterwards, almost all of the boat filled with water and we finally had to jump overboard and use drums to float on," he was quoted as saying.

Whales periodically travel across the archipelago from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea.