Talk about a crazy encounter. A humpback whale was caught on camera breaching the water and landing on top of a boat off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Sunday.
Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter told NBC10 Boston the incident occurred around 10 a.m. off the coast of White Horse Beach. The 19-foot vessel sustained light damage to its bow but was shockingly still seaworthy. The boat was able to return to the boat ramp on its own power, and the boat operator fortunately reported there were no injuries.
“The boat was in the right place at the wrong time. This could have been much worse for all involved,” Hunter said. “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.”
Those who know the area, with some having fished there for decades, told NBC10 Boston they have never seen something like this before.
“All of a sudden, full breech, ten feet out of the water, slams on top of his guy’s boat, like his bow goes down, basically, into the water, engine out, full thing pops off, whale rolls over the side of it, totally fine, but his boat was messed up,” one man said. “It was insane, the guy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all. Pops up, bang…right on the bow of the guy’s boat.”
The harbormaster noted there were many boats in the area for recreational fishing due to an abundance of bait fish, adding that’s also what is attracting whales to the area to feed.
Harbormaster crews had been monitoring the area since 5 a.m. for violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act after a boat was bumped by a whale on Friday. No such violations had been determined at the time of the incident.
A paddleboarder recorded video of a boat being rocked by a whale off the coast of Massachusetts.
Environmental police were contacted and will investigate the incident, as well as if the MMPA was violated.