Now here’s something you don’t see everyday.
One of two humpback whales circling a vessel leaped out of the water and accidentally bumped its head on the boat, causing one of the windows to shatter.
The vessel belongs to Lifeforce Ocean Friends, an animal rights group, and was manned by its director, Peter Hamilton, when the incident occurred off the coast of Comox on Thursday, September 27th.
According to a press release from the organization, neither Hamilton, nor the 20-ton whale were injured because the material was safety glass.
“Other Humpbacks have lifted their heads a few feet out of the water when ‘Head Viewing’ as seen in the beginning of this video too,” says Hamilton.
“However, this one came too far out of the water to check out this strange floating object and species. Perhaps this particular Humpback may not be that boat wise or as graceful as others.”
“After the window was shattered one’s pectoral flipper banged the boat and one floated too close slightly lifting the boat. Since this is unusual behaviour I waited for them to move away as they circled then I turn on the engine and slowly moved away.”
He was “mugged”
Hamilton was privy to a classic humpback maneuver known as “mugging”, during which whales approach boats and the people in them to see what these curious floating objects are.
This particular encounter involved two humpbacks and lasted about 20 minutes. But over the past three years, Lifeforce has witnessed 10 such incidents ranging from 5 to 60 minutes each, and involving up to three whales.
“Humpbacks are not to blame because we are visitors in their home waters,” adds Hamilton.
“Their numbers are increasing since their near extinction caused by the whaling industry. This should be a reminder to all that Nature can be unpredictable and accidents can happen.”