Watch: Whale ‘almost swallows’ kayakers

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Whale ‘almost swallows’ kayakers
Image: Twitter

WATCH: Humpback whale ‘almost swallows’ kayakers in California

Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were whale watching off the coast of Avila Beach, California on Monday, November 2 when a huge humpback whale swam under their kayak, tipping them into the water.

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“I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball come up out of the water,” McSorley told CNN affiliate KMPH. “I saw the whale come up. I thought, ‘Oh, no! It’s too close.'”

“All of a sudden, I lifted up, and I was in the water.”


Footage taken by fellow kayakers shows the two women getting very close, before it looks like the whale nearly swallows them whole — but Julie McSorley, one of the women, confirmed to KSBY-6 News that only the kayak was overturned by the whale’s mouth.

The two managed to escape unscathed, briefly going underwater after capsizing before re-emerging.

Experts continue to advise whale-watchers to be cautious in the ocean. In Marine Life Viewing Guidelines, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) instructs individuals to observe whales from a safe distance — of at least 100 yards, or the length of a football field. In some states and regions, other species-specific laws mandate even greater distance.

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