Frightened tourists looked on as the huge whale breached off the coast of Northern California, near Monterey Bay’s Moss Landing Harbor. A Sanctuary Cruises passenger, Larry Plants, caught the horrifying scene on video, and the company later shared it on their Facebook page. Since the video was posted, it has gone viral, receiving three million views on YouTube and another 200,000 views on Facebook.
“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. When all of a sudden, this massive full-size whale does a full 180 degree breach.
The only problem is that it landed on two kayakers on a tandom rig.The video was shot by Sanctuary passenger Larry Plants. Pretty serious situation. Kayak whale watching can be extremely dangerous.”
Although the kayakers were thrown into the water, they were luckily wearing life vests, and were able to walk away from the incident unharmed. Several fellow kayakers were able to help them get back to land, NBC Bay Area reports.
In a post on his company’s blog, Sanctuary Cruises captain and co-owner Michael Sack wrote that full size humpback whales can reach more than 40 tons.
“That’s a lot of heavy blubber that would surely flatten a kayaker if the whale had a direct hit,” Sack wrote. “I’m not sure if at this point these two know how lucky they were. They kind of had to be in shock.”
Sean Furey, a guide with Monterey Bay Kayaks, was with the couple when the humpback’s breach took place. He said the couple handled the situation very well. He also added that the company had suspended their whale-watching tours for the time being.
“We’ve talked to some biologists and we feel it’s probably affecting the health of the whales, affecting their ability to feed so we just want to make sure that the whales are safe out there and keep everybody safe here,” Furey said.
[Photo by Shutterstock]