It’s fairly common for people to share videos of a large whale swimming by a boat or coming close to a kayak, but it’s extremely rare for a whale to make direct contact with the vessel.
A new video that is both terrifying and exhilarating shows a humpback whale breaching atop a 19-foot fishing boat. The good news, according to NBC10 Boston, is that no one was hurt and the boat wasn’t seriously damaged. A full-grown humpback whale can grow up to 52 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds so it could do some serious damage.
The incident happened on Sunday, July 24, off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
\u201cA humpback whale breached and landed on the bow of a small whale-watching boat off the coast of the historic Massachusetts town of Plymouth.\u201d
— PIX11 News (@PIX11 News)
“The boat was in the right place at the wrong time. This could have been much worse for all involved,” Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter told NBC10 Boston. “Children like to lean over the side of the boat to watch the fish so it is very lucky that nobody got hurt here. An incident like this is pretty rare but very dangerous to boaters.”
\u201c\u201cIT WAS INSANE!\u201d\n\n#NEW pictures show a whale breaching this AM outside #Plymouth, landing on a 19 foot boat.\n\nHarbormaster: No one injured. \n\nWitnesses say this was the most INTENSE thing they\u2019ve seen on the water in decades. @NBC10Boston\u201d
— Eli Rosenberg NBC10 Boston (@Eli Rosenberg NBC10 Boston)
The whale and the boat were in the same place at the same time, most likely for identical reasons. The harbormaster said there were a lot of boats in the area over the weekend because there was an abundance of bait fish in the water. The fish probably attracted the whale as well.
Whales are relatively common in the waters off Massachusetts in the months of April through October and then they migrate to warmer waters as winter approaches.