Couple stunned as whale jumps into yacht
July 22, 2010,
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.
"I just saw this huge whale come out of the water and crash against the mast of our yacht," she said.
"He ducked behind the steering wheel and we saw the whale go back into the water and the mast and the rigging all came flying towards us. It was quite a scary experience."
A local newspaper showed a photo, captured by a passenger on a nearby boat, of a massive black whale towering over the yacht.
Werner says neither she nor her companion were hurt, and she saw the whale swimming around minutes after the collision. She says she feels lucky that the mast took the brunt of the blow.
The seas around Cape Town are teeming with whales and great white sharks during the winter months, which fall in the middle of the year.