This is the unbelievable moment caught on camera when two kayakers appeared to be swallowed up by a humpback whale.
Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were kayaking in San Luis Obispo Bay in California when the humpback unexpectedly breached from right underneath them.
Thankfully for us, the moment was captured on video from multiple angles:
When the unexpected occurred, Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were kayaking in San Luis Obispo Bay in California.
McSorley and Cottriel were observing the large marine mammals feeding when the incident happened. McSorley apparently convinced Cottriel’s to go watch the humpbacks despite her apprehension.
“Her reaction was, ‘No, I don’t like the ocean. I’m scared of sharks. I’m scared of anything I can’t see in the water.’ And I so ignorantly told her, ‘Oh, they’re never going to dump you over. The kayaks are very stable. I’ve never had an issue,’” McSorley recalled.
For the first hour in the water, everything was peaceful. The pair kept an eye out for schools of fish, often known as “bait balls,” and waited for the whales to dine.
Cottriel and McSorley could see tiny fish swimming all about them as they waited and watched for the next bait ball.
“So I knew it was going to be very close, but again, I’d seen whales breach right next kayaks before. So my mind was like, this is going to be, you know, super cool,” McSorley shared.
“And then all of a sudden the boat lifted up and we were dumped in the water very, very quickly.”
Cottriel claimed that as the whale closed in on them, she could see its mouth and knew she was doomed.
“Next thing I know, I’m underwater.” Fortunately, the women survive, and they now have a fascinating story to tell.