A woman who was crushed by a 30-tonne humpback whale off the coast of Australia has described the moment “like being hit by a car”.

Alicia Ramsey, 30, had been on a snorkeling tour in the waters off Western Australia when the group started to swim past a female humpback and her calf.

The Perth-native said the calf swam through the group, which sparked its mum to take a swipe at them with its huge fins – 9News said.

Its bulky body caused serious damage to Ms Ramsey’s ribs and several barnacles on the beast’s skin caused her to suffer several abrasions to her side.

Ms Ramsey said that she would go back into the water again despite the attack

She was first treated at Exmouth Hospital, Western Australia, before she was airlifted to the trauma centre at Royal Perth Hospital – also in the same state.

Ms Ramsey said: “The calf decided to come check us out and ended up being between us and the mum and so mum went into protective mode and swung.

“As she did that to put herself between us and the calf her fun came out and got me.”

The keen snorkeler is now the third person to have been injured by whales in what was the second attack at the beauty spot.

Speaking from her hospital bed, she added: “For it to be the second one in a week, I can not believe it happened to me. It felt like somebody had punched me.”

She added that the attack had left her with internal injuries.

But, despite the injuries, Ms Ramsey said she would “go back and do it again”.

Dr Sheryl Jonescu added: “We certainly have seen some injuries which are consistent with those people that have been hit by a car.”

The site is popular with whale watchers

The previous victims of whale attacks, two women, were also injured by a whale protecting her calf.

A 29-year-old woman suffered a fractured rib and internal bleeding when she was hit by the tail of the 15-metre-long mother.

The second woman was slapped by the fin and tore her hamstring.