Michele W/Flickr

Breaching humpback whale almost flattens kayakers

If you want to watch whales, considering doing so only on large boats.

 

Josh Katzowitz

Internet Culture

Published Sep 16, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 11:25 pm CDT

If you’re within spitting distance of a whale while in the ocean, it’s reasonable to expect that the massive mammal would either wake you from a stupor, like the whale in Cast Away, or to befriend you like the one in Free Willy.

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What the people in the video below probably didn’t expect was to be on the receiving end of a bodacious-looking swan dive.

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The video below occurred in California as patrons of a Sanctuary Cruise ship filmed multiple whales that were in the middle of feeding. A number of kayakers, presumably getting a closer look at the whales, also were nearby when one whale decided to breach. And he almost crushed a pair in a tandem kayak.

“Kayaking with whales can be extremely dangerous. It can turn into a life or death situation real quick-like. Within seconds. It was very scary to watch,” wrote Capt. Michael Sack on the Sanctuary Cruises blog. “Today a couple of kayakers were very lucky. They came very close to getting crushed to death by the mighty humpback whale. 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.”

Imagine the kayakers’ relief when the whale missed landing on them.

More from Sack: “I’m not sure if at this point these two know how lucky they were. They kind of had to be in shock… Experienced paddlers helped recover the almost crushed kayakers. Their kayak filled with water, so other experienced kayakers pumped out the water and righted the boat for them. The boat looked like it sustained some damage. Kind of bent. Yikes. That’s why I would never take anyone kayak whale watching. Most people don’t realize how dangerous kayaking with whales can be.”

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Apparently, not every whale can be as charming as Willy. 

H/T Huffington Post |Photo via Michele W/Flickr (CC by-ND 2.0)

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*First Published: Sep 16, 2015, 7:26 pm CDT