80,000 Pound Humpback Whale Breaches Over Kayak in California


“Crushed by humpback whale.”

Not typically something you’d find on someones tombstone or in their obituary, but for two individuals on a whale cruise in Monterey Bay, outside of Moss Landing, California, this could have easily been the case.s3

Sanctuary Cruises‘ business is based around giving customers an experience they will always remember, kayaking off the coast of California to watch humpback whales in their natural habitat. What these two individuals got was something much more, and a whole heck of a lot scarier than they ever could have imagined.

While the kayakers were aware that a humpback was in their vicinity, they certainly didn’t expect it to jump out of the water towards their kayak, but that’s just what it did.

“It’s all fun and games until someone gets jumped on. The next thing we knew, this thing launched right on top of these two kayakers. That was heavy,” stated Sanctuary Cruises.

The whole incident was caught on film by one of Santuary Cruises’ passengers, Larry Plants, who watched and filmed in excitement, which quickly turned to worry. As the kayakers came in from the right, the whale launched towards and over top of their kayak, missing them by only a foot or two. The massive whale crashed down into the water next to the kayak with the downdraft pulling the two individuals under the water. This left onlookers fearing for the worse.s1

“We were taken under the water by the whale, perhaps in the down-draft,” said Tom, one of the fortunate kayakers. “I think it brushed against me while I was out of the kayak… Neither of us know how we weren’t ended there and then. We definitely understood how lucky we were, and were pretty confused.”

A fellow kayaker helped the two empty the water from their kayak and flip it over, while they still remained somewhat in shock over what they had just witnessed.

A full-size humpback whale in this region could have easily weighed around 40 tons (80,000 pounds). Landing on a human being would have almost certainly led to instant death. While images of the kayakers show them smiling right after they emerged from the water, they both clearly have realized just how dangerous these beautiful animals can be if humans get a tad bit too close to them.

It will be interesting to see if Sanctuary Cruises adopts any further precautions to prevent such an incident from happening again in the future.