A whale broke through and landed on the bow of a small boat that briefly submerged it in the water, in a stunning moment captured on video off the coast of Massachusetts Sunday morning.
Footage from the encounter shows the whale, which appears to be a humpback whale, emerging from the water before landing on the 19-foot vessel, plunging into the water before bouncing back upright.
The incident took place around 10 a.m. in the White Horse Beach area of Plymouth, city officials said.
“It was insane,” a witness, Ryder Parkhurst, told NBC Boston. “The guy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all. Jump up, bang… right on the bow of the guy’s boat.”
“I just saw the boat fly crazy, it was crazy,” Parkhurst said. “It was crazy. I couldn’t believe the thing was still floating.”
In a statement released Sunday, the city said a Plymouth Harbormaster Department boat assigned to the area responded to check on the ship’s occupants.
“The operator reported no injuries and no major damage affecting the ship’s seaworthiness,” it said.
Department crews had been monitoring the area since around 5 a.m. Sunday morning in an effort to ensure the safety of everyone after a boat was bumped by a whale on Friday, NBC Boston reported.
Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter said many boats had been in the area for recreational fishing on Sunday due to an abundance of baitfish, which he said also attracted whales to the area.
The city said the Plymouth Harbormaster Department had forwarded information about the incident to the Massachusetts Environmental Police. Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
The city said the department is recommending boaters keep a distance of at least 100 meters from whales to “minimize potential interactions.”
“This interaction, while rare, reminds us that these interactions can be dangerous for both boaters and whales,” it said.