Two kayakers on a whale watching adventure off the coast of California got a scare on Monday when a humpback whale came up from below and nearly swallowed them. One of the kayakers had her phone out at the time and managed to capture the experience on camera.
In the 1-minute video above, captured by Julie McSorley at Avila Beach, we see that birds were circling above peaceful waters when suddenly fish started flopping around McSorley’s kayak.
“I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball come up out of the water,” McSorley tells 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.”
Other whale watchers in the area managed to capture the incident on camera too, and from their vantage points, it looked like the kayakers had gotten swallowed (warning: there’s a bit of strong language):
“I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna push.’ Like, I’m gonna push a whale out of the way!” says Liz Cottriel, who was right next to McSorley. “It was the weirdest thought. I’m thinking, ‘I’m dead. I’m dead.’ I thought it was gonna land on me. Next thing I know, I’m under water.”
The two women were pushed underwater by the whale before popping up and escaping unscathed.