A breaching whale landed on the bow of a fishing boat off the coast of Massachusetts on Sunday in a dramatic moment caught on camera. No one was injured and the boat was not seriously damaged, town officials said.
CBS Bostonthe incident happened around 10 a.m. a few hundred yards off of Manomet Point in Plymouth, where whales have been spotted in the area feeding. Last week, a photographer captured an image of a
Because the whales have been in the area, a Plymouth Harbormaster boat was monitoring the waters this weekend as a precaution.
“This is definitely both a sense of excitement and concern,” said Regina Asmutis-Silvia of North American Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
A man on the shore captured photographs as the whale, which appeared to be a humpback, breached and landed on the boat’s bow, briefly submerging the front of the vessel, before sliding back into the water. The boat did not capsize.
In a statement posted on Facebook , the Town of Plymouth said the occupants of the 19-foot boat “reported no injuries and no major damage that affected the seaworthiness of the vessel,” it said.
Harbormaster Chad Hunter said the fishermen headed back to the boat ramp and left the area.
Asmutis-Silvia said the whale’s actions weren’t intentional. “They’re not going to pay attention to what’s going on around them. So they’re not looking around for kayakers or paddleboarders or even boaters. They’re just kind of focusing on food,” she said.
Hunter said that while there have been concerns about boaters getting too close to the whales in recent weeks, it appears everyone, in this case, was “doing the right thing” and simply fishing when the whale breached.
Brooke Perry, a photographer from Ohio, scurried down to the Plymouth coastline when she learned the whales were close.
“Really nice for tourists to be able to see them up close because a lot of time you can’t,” she said.
But Asmutis-Silvia cautioned that the size of even a small whale would be potential dangerous to boaters.
“Even a small humpback whale, you’re still talking about something that’s probably 50 to 60 thousand pounds,” said Asmutis-Silvia.
Massachusetts Environmental Police are investigating.
“This interaction, while rare, is a reminder that these interactions can be dangerous for both boaters and whales,” the town said on Facebook.