An English couple had sailed down to Cape Town, South Africa, for a whale watching trip. The couple says they had a “lucky escape” when a 33ft right whale leaped on to their yacht.
The southern right whale, a species known for poor eyesight, snapped the mast before sliding off back into the water, said Paloma Werner. She and her partner had just seconds to take cover, she said. A tourist on a nearby boat captured the moment when the whale breached out of the water on camera.
“I still like whales,” Ms Werner.
The southern right whale navigates by sound, leading Ms Werner to suspect it was an accident. “Our boat’s engine was off and so the whale just didn’t know we were there,” she said. “We were just the wrong boat, in the wrong place at the wrong time. “Whale experts have taken DNA samples from blubber left on the deck to see whether they have any existing records on the animal. Werner said the whale appeared to be unhurt by the experience: “We saw it afterwards and there was no blood or anything. I think for a whale it was just a scratch and a bump.”