Breaching humpback whale nearly crushes kayakers

Humpback whale breaches onto kayakers in Monterey Bay
Somehow, despite this ominous image, the kayakers emerged from their humpback encounter unharmed.

Two kayakers are lucky to be alive after a massive humpback whale launched itself into full breach and landed on top of their kayak Saturday just outside the Moss Landing section of Monterey Bay, California.

Video from the incident shows just how close the kayakers came to an extremely dire situation.

Captain Michael Sack was guiding the Sanctuary Cruises whale watching tour when he captured the event. He witnessed the tandem kayakers paddling through a large pod of humpbacks that were gorging themselves on krill and a large swarm of bait anchovy fish, and said the kayakers got lucky to make it out of their humpback encounter alive.

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“Two kayakers were almost crushed to death by a massive, near full-size humpback whale,” Sack told KSBW. “A large aggregation of humpbacks were feeding. There were also a lot of kayakers right in the middle of it all. The next thing we knew, this thing launched right on top of these two kayakers. It was very scary to watch.”

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Humpback whales are known to frequent the Central California waters between April and December, and their numbers are greatest in late summer. They can grow up to 62 feet long and weigh as much as 50 tons.

“Kayaking with whales can be extremely dangerous,” he said. “This was one of the more dangerous situations that I’ve seen out here. I’m not sure if at this point these two know how lucky they were. One should realize that humpback whales are wild animals and totally unpredictable. It’s a very uncontrolled environment out there.”

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