Humpback Whale Punches Underwater Cameraman [Video]

Dan Evon

The humpback whale doesn't have the quickest punch in the ocean, but it is definitely a mighty one.

Underwater photographer Chris Coates got punched by a humpback whale during a recent dive off the eastern coast of Africa.

Coates was taking some photos of the whale when it started to swim directly at him. Coates and the whale had a brief exchange of words and then the humpback whale reeled back and punched him.

Coates told Grind TV that he always brings his camera when he goes spearfishing because he has seen some incredible things underneath the waves. This time was no different. The 38-year-old spearfisher saw a humpback whale and a baby swimming through the water.

Coates said: "You will be amazed at some of the crazy stuff we see out there. This, however, ranks with some of the craziest I have ever seen... The whale hit me on the head and hand. I could feel its barnacles scraping over my forehead. The slap with the fin was quite hard, but I don't think it was trying to hurt me or it would have been way harder. It also must have hit the camera because it hit my hand that was holding the camera."

Coates doesn't think that the whale was trying to hurt him, but he admits that it was a pretty scary moment.

The spearfisher said: "At one stage it was only one foot away, and even though I know that they generally don't hurt people, it's so big and strong, it is still scary."

Here's a video of a humpback whale punching underwater photographer Chris Coates.