A woman called the police on whales — yes, whales — after they had the audacity to swim around near the boat that she was on while on a family boating trip in Puget Sound, Time is reporting.
In a video posted to social media that has since gone viral, you can hear the terrified screams of a group of people out on a family boat trip off the coast of Washington State. As is likely to happen in the ocean during certain times of year — some humpback whales showed up.
To be fair, seeing one of the giant mammals swimming around near your comparatively small boat has to be unsettling. And of course, the animals, which can weigh as much as 33 tons — or 66,000 pounds — like to swim next to the surface and to even breach it sometimes, slapping the water with their tails or their bodies. It can be unsettling, to be sure.
Encounters with the enormous sea mammals can even be terrifying to some. In the video embedded below, several people on board the boat can be heard freaking out after spotting the whales.
“I don’t want to die right now!” one passenger yells.
The man operating the camera, identified as Darren Lucianna, was apparently aware of the general lack of danger posed by the animals. In the video, he can be heard valiantly attempting to calm everyone down.
“Relax. He’s going to check us out and then he’s going to go away. Relax. Seriously!”
One woman’s reaction, however, ventures into comical territory. In reaction to the appearance of the whales, she dialed 911.
“I’m out in Puget Sound, and there’s three huge grey whales underneath our boat, and I’m afraid that we might get flipped over.”
Whales do tip over watercraft sometimes, even though it is uncommon, according to Yachting World. In fact, YouTube has plenty of videos of boats being flipped over by whales — which is as good a reason as any to make sure that you’re wearing a life jacket when you’re out on the water. Whales don’t participate in this rare behavior out of malice, but rather because they either confuse the bottom of the boat for another whale — perhaps competing for resources or for females — or because their eyes haven’t evolved to avoid collisions with objects on the surface.
One thing that a humpback whale will almost certainly not do to those who find themselves in the water with them is to eat or attack them. Whales eat tiny crustaceans called krill, not large mammals such as human beings. In most cases, the great beasts of the sea will swim off and leave any water-logged people alone.
One has to ask the question, however — what possible good would calling the cops do? Common sense dictates that most police forces are ill equipped to dispatch aquatic beasts, let alone whales of this size.
Fortunately, the boat’s driver gunned the engines and got everyone away safely — whales included.