PLYMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) - A Duxbury father and son fishing duo were surprised Sunday as they witnessed a juvenile whale breach the water onto a nearby boat, capturing video of the shocking incident.
“There was a big thud, you know the whale landed, basically full body contact right on the bow of the boat,” said witness Justin Enggasser. “It made three grunts that sounded like it was laughing at the boat. It’s something I couldn’t imagine.”
A group of small boats was sailing off of White Horse Beach Sunday morning when one of the many whales recently seen in the area breached in front of a vessel, making contact and hitting the ship’s bow, bending the boat’s starboard railing.
“It was a complete shock to everyone around that the whale came up right there. We would not have expected it,” said Enggasser.
According to the Harbormaster, no one was injured aboard the 19-foot-long boat. All of the passengers were at the stern at the time of the breach.
“Not many interactions like this happen in the world really,” said Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter. “I’m a bit shocked that it happened but then the fact that there were no injuries, the boat didn’t capsize and sink. That was truly amazing.”
A Harbormaster boat was operating nearby at the time of Sunday’s whale bump, and was able to respond quickly to the incident.
According to wildlife experts, there is a large school of fish off the coast of Plymouth that are drawing in both fishing boats and three juvenile humpback whales.
Due to the age of the whales and their unpredictable feeding habits the Massachusetts Environmental Police advice caution when out on the water by Plymouth.
“We are advising recreational fishermen and people in the area to give the whales space. We ask that you give them at least 100 feet, more is better, to give them their space,” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration member Allison Ferreria. “These whales are unpredictable, they’re large animals, easily disturbed, and we wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.”
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