Whale Falls on Boat in Massachusetts – NBC New England

A humpback whale was caught on camera rising out of the water and landing several people on top of a boat off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts on Sunday.

Plymouth Harbor Master Chad Hunter told NBC Boston the close encounter occurred around 10 a.m. off the coast of White Horse Beach. The 19-foot vessel sustained light damage to the bow, but was surprisingly still seaworthy. The boat was able to return to the boat ramp under its own power and fortunately the boat operator reported no injuries.

“The ship was in the right place at the wrong time. This could have been so much worse for everyone involved,” Hunter said. “Kids like to lean over the side of the boat to watch the fish, so it’s very lucky no one was hurt here. An incident like this is quite rare but very dangerous for boaters.”

An incredible image captured the moment just before impact.

Those who know the area, some of whom have fished there for decades, told NBC10 Boston that they had never seen anything like it before.

“All of a sudden the whale, 10 feet out of the water, slams into the top of the boat, like its bow is basically dipping into the water, the engine cuts out, everything is thrown, the whale rolls over the side. totally fine, but his boat was in bad shape,” said Ryder Parkhurst. “It was crazy, the guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all. He shows up, bang…right on the bow of the guy’s boat.”

“I just saw the boat fly, it was crazy,” Parkhurst added. “It was crazy. I couldn’t believe the thing was still floating.”

The harbor master’s crews had been monitoring the area since 5am trying to ensure everyone’s safety after a whale struck a boat on Friday.

The harbor master noted that there were many boats in the area on Sunday for recreational fishing due to the abundance of bait fish, adding that that also attracts whales to the area to feed.

Crowds gathered at the point on Sunday night, hoping to catch a glimpse.

“I love whales,” said 9-year-old Daniel Morse. “The three things I love are music, video games and whales.”

The harbor master is using this incident as a reminder, telling boaters to stay at least 100 yards away from the whales whenever possible.

Environmental police have been contacted and will investigate, including to determine if there was a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The harbormaster said no such violations had been determined at the time of the incident.

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