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Several people witnessed the incident from the beach.
Businessman Lachlan Harris said: "You just saw basically surfers, surfboards, swimmers thrown into the air like skittles, I've never seen anything like it.
"It was like they were soft toys getting thrown around the cot by a whale, and, you know, the whole beach sort of gasped basically."
Lifeguard Anthony Harries warned beachgoers to take care.
He said: "It is a good message not to go close to these mammals. They're extremely powerful and they can get up to 80 tonnes (78.74 tons)."
Mr Rajapakse has now been released from hospital.