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.
“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.
I just seen a whale almost swallow a woman and her kayak whole bro pic.twitter.com/TnPT0LMrav
— 🕷⚡️ (@lovesriot999) November 3, 2020
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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