updated 5/16/2011 2:57:06 PM ET 2011-05-16T18:57:06

A large wave struck a whale-watching boat off the Massachusetts coast Monday, sending five high school students to a hospital with minor injuries, officials said.

The crew of the Whale Watcher, a 106-foot boat based in Hyannis, contacted the U.S. Coast Guard station in Provincetown at about 10:30 a.m. to report that five students were injured after a 5-foot, 7-inch wave struck the vessel's bow, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said the boat was out for a whale-watching tour and was about five miles north of Race Point, Mass., when the wave hit. The injured Barnstable High School students were on the bow, Coast Guard officials said.

Their injuries were not life-threatening and the students were immediately taken to Cape Cod Hospital, Barnstable principal Patrick Clark said. He said 47 Barnstable High School students were on the boat.

Rescue workers took the students from MacMillan Pier in Provincetown. Officials said the boat was not damaged and was being taken back to Barnstable Harbor.

The U.S. Coast Guard said weather at the scene was six-foot seas with 31 mph winds gusting up to 35 mph.

The Whale Watcher is an all-aluminum vessel that was designed specifically for whale watching, according to Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises, the company that operates the boat.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Huge wave hits whale watching boat


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