On Sunday morning, various fishing boats were floating off the coast of White Horse Beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts. A school of bait fish had been reported in the area, prompting many recreational fishers to take to the ocean for some morning angling. However, in addition to the fishermen, the bait fish also attracted a larger oceanic specimen.
In footage captured by one of the fishing boats, a humpback whale was seen suddenly breaching the water, where it landed right on top of bow of one of the boats before bouncing off and landing back in the water. The boat bounced for a few moments on the waves, but was able to right itself.
“It was insane,” Plymouth local Ryder Parkhurst told NBC Boston. “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.”
“I just saw the boat go freaking flying, it was crazy,” Parkhurst said. “It was nuts. I couldn’t believe the thing was still floating.”
CLOSE CALL: A whale struck a fishing boat off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, with the whale breaching and then landing on the vessel. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Whales have frequently been spotted in the area over the past week. https://t.co/Kb0EM7fMYZ pic.twitter.com/qDT8ic8Kiy
— ABC News (@ABC) July 25, 2022
Local harbor authorities checked in with the boat that the whale landed on, confirming that its occupants were no worse for wear and that the boat had not sustained any notable damage. It is not currently known if the whale was injured in this incident at all.
The Plymouth Harbormaster Department has issued a reminder to all boaters to keep their distance from whale pods to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen. “This interaction, while rare, is a reminder that these interactions can be dangerous for both boaters and whales,” it said.