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Video: Kayakers’ Close Encounter with a Humpback Whale

Whale breach

Humpback whales are generally not a danger to humans, but their imposing size is certainly something that can startle marine recreationists and they can be particularly frightening when they unexpectedly appear out of the water just a few feet from you.

That’s exactly what happened to our lucky witnesses in the video below. On August 18, Samantha Burmeister was videotaping her mother as the two rested while kayaking around Port San Luis in California, documenting the large swath of seagulls around them. Suddenly a massive humpback whale surfaces just a few feet away from their kayaks. The video is cut short because Burmeister had to paddle backward to prevent tipping over when the whale ran into her. Watch it below.

Image from Robert Schwemmer/NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries

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