Two whale watchers who were kayaking near Moss Landing, California, got a nasty scare this weekend when a humpback whale breeched right beside them. Michael Sack, of Sanctuary Cruises, happened to be leading a tour nearby, and passenger Larry Plants caught the incident on video.
“This was one of the more dangerous situations that I’ve seen out here. Here we were, minding our own business, checking out large quantities of humpback whales as they surrounded us in the sanctuary. When all of a sudden, this massive full-size whale does a full 180-degree breach,” Sack said in a blog post about the incident. “A full-size humpback can weigh in at 40-tons. That’s a lot of heavy blubber that would surely flatten a kayaker if the whale had a direct hit.”
Luckily, both kayakers were able to swim away without any injuries, but their kayak was a little bent out of shape.
It’s important to treat whales with the same respect we do other wild animals. Whale watchers should abide by the Marine Wildlife Guidelines for Boaters, Paddlers and Viewers and ensure they keep a safe distance when possible.