A couple who were whale-watching off the coast of South Africa got more than they bargained for when a 10-metre southern right whale leapt from the water and crashed down onto their yacht.
They were left stunned but unhurt and the yacht mast snapped off. Paloma Werner says she and her partner had been watching the whale for some time, and had decided to head back to port when it dived beneath their boat, ABC Online reports.
The Southern right whale, an endangered species common to those waters which can weight up to 60 tons, shot into the air and smashed into the Intrepid, a 32-foot yacht with a steel hull.
"We were very lucky to get through it, as the sheer weight of the thing was huge," said Werner.
Mothes, 59-year-old, who was piloting the boat, ducked behind the wheel as the whale thrashed around on the deck and destroyed their mast, before finally slipping back into the water, according to New York Daily News.
Werner theorized to the U.S. news network that because her boat's engine was off, the whale probably couldn't hear them and took the leap not knowing they were there.
The whale didn't appear to be hurt in the accident. The couple's boat wasn't so lucky. Werner estimates it will cost $13,000, to repair.
A passenger on a nearby boat took a spectacular photo of the event, just prior to the whale smashing into the boat. Werner reportedly said she feels lucky that no further damage was done, Vancouver Sun says.
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