VIDEO: Humpback whale surfaces, hitting boat with father and son near Jersey coast
"The guys on the boat had an experience of a lifetime," said a wildlife expert
October 17, 2022 6:00am
Updated: February 19, 2023 8:11am
A massive humpback whale leaped out of the water, hitting a boat and scaring the life out of its occupants near the Jersey shore this week.
A father and son were on a fishing trip when the unexpected event happened, NBC news reported. The son, Zach Piller, 23, managed to record the incident on video and later shared it on his Instagram account.
The video begins with a lot of activity in the water. Then, several fish jump out, followed by the whale, which jumped several feet straight into the air.
“Oh-oh,” the day says before the whale struck the side of their 18-foot boat and left it rocking back and forth.
"I got that on video!", says Piller before joking about how his dad was able to hold on to his fishing rod throughout the incident.
According to Eric Otjen, vice president of the zoological operations at SeaWorld San Diego, humpback whales feeding near small fish by the shore is not unusual. But breaching out so close to a boat is, he added.
“This whale just happened to chase bait fish right next to a boat,” he said. “You probably have a better chance of winning the lottery” than the whale jumping out like that near you.
"The guys on the boat had an experience of a lifetime," he added. "A lot of people would pay a lot of money to see what they saw."
There has been an unusual amount of humpback whale sightings near the Jersey Shore since July. Experts believe that the whales have been searching for the small fish that inhabit the area.