Talk about a crazy encounter. A humpback whale was caught on camera as it broke through the water and landed on a boat off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Sunday.
Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter told NBC10 Boston that the incident happened off the coast of White Horse Beach around 10 a.m. The 19-foot vessel sustained minor damage to the bow, but was shockingly still seaworthy. The boat was able to return to the boat ramp under its own power and the boat driver fortunately reported that there were no injuries.
“The boat was in the right place at the wrong time. This could have been a lot worse for everyone involved,” Hunter said. “Kids like to lean over the side of the boat to watch the fish, so it’s just lucky no one got hurt here. An incident like this is quite rare, but very dangerous for boaters.”
Those who know the area, some of whom have been fishing there for decades, told NBC10 Boston they’ve never seen anything like it before.
“Suddenly, full breech, three feet above the water, slams on top of his man’s boat, as if his bow is going down, in fact in the water, engine off, full thing jumps out, whale rolls over the side of it, all the way good, but his boat was messed up,” said one man. “It was insane. The guy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all. Come on, bang… right on the bow of the guy’s boat.”
The harbor master noted that there were many boats in the area for recreational fishing due to an abundance of bait fish, adding that that is also what draws whales to the area to feed.
Harbor master’s crews had been monitoring the area since 5 a.m. for violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act after a boat was hit by a whale on Friday. No such violations had been identified at the time of the incident.
A paddleboarder recorded video of a boat being startled by a whale off the coast of Massachusetts.
The environmental police who will investigate the incident as well as whether the MMPA has been violated has been contacted.