A wild humpback whale frolicking in the sea

Liz Cottriel and a friend, Julie McSorley, were kayaking Monday at Avila Beach when they got knocked into the water by a humpback whale, per Washington Post.

The kayakers in California had an unforgettable whale watching experience they will likely remember for the rest of their lives.

A humpback seemed to flip their boat over and almost swallow them on a video uploaded by the Guardian.

Rattled But Unscathed 

Cottriel and McSorley felt flustered as they were knocked into the water.

They were unharmed despite being nearly swallowed by the humpback, per the Post.

Cottriel was thinking: ‘I’m dead. I’m dead” and thought it was going to “land on” her.

“Next thing I know, I’m underwater,” Liz Cottriel told Fox affiliate KMPH.

The two women managed to paddle back to the seashore at nearby Avila Beach, according to the Post.

The other kayakers and paddleboarders approached and then checked in on Cottriel and McSorley.

A screengrab of the video posted by a bystander

When You See A School Of Fish, Stay Away

Cottriel and McSorley were cruising in California’s San Luis Obispo Bay, the Post reported.

The humpback whales, reportedly, have been moving offshore waters trying to find food.

The Post reported local authorities warning viewers at a close range to steer clear of large schools of fish.

The shoal attracts the feeding whales, hence, it is wise to stay away from it.

Observation Guidelines

The Port San Luis Harbor District released on Tuesday some tips to observe the gentle giants safely, such as:

1. Maintain at least 100 yards of distance from the whales.

2. Do not attempt to feed, touch, or interact with the whales or any marine mammals.

3. If you encounter a whale, slow down and alter your direction and never approach head-on.

4. Don’t paddle through large schools of fish as whales will be lunging out of the water to eat the schools of fish.

5. Do not separate a mother whale and her calf.

OPINION: Social Distance! 

As much as we want to observe and look at wild animals at close range, let’s leave those tasks to wildlife experts.

Humpback whales do not attack people. There was even an instance that it saved a marine biologist from a shark, yes, but let’s respect the personal space of every creature, be it human or animals.

One takeaway from the ongoing pandemic: Social Distancing. 

Moreover, a few shares or likes on social media is definitely not worth the risk.


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