WATCH: Humpback Whale Nearly Swallows Two Kayakers Entirely in California

by Chris Haney

On Monday, two kayakers were enjoying a leisurely ride off California’s Avila Beach when a massive humpback whale surfaced and almost swallowed them whole.

Multiple people captured footage of the huge whale surfacing to dine on a large pool of fish in the vicinity. However, unfortunately for Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel, the two women got caught in its path. The women went kayaking and whale watching in San Luis Obispo, CA. But, they ended up doing more than just watching the humpbacks in the area. The women almost became part of the enormous whale’s meal in a terrifying and unexpected encounter.

In a video filmed by a woman at the scene named Kellie Balentine, you can see numerous kayakers and paddle boarders in the area. All is calm in the video except the birds hovering above. All of a sudden, the yellow kayak on the left side of the screen is lifted into the air. The humpback whale breaches the surface, and the women appear to be swallowed whole by the gigantic creature. Yet, all’s well that ends well because the women only capsized. They were tossed from their kayak and landed underwater.

Kayakers Feared for Their Life, But Swim Away Unscathed

Additionally, a bystander named Mandy Boyle captured a closer view of the whale surfacing and almost swallowing the kayakers. The side-angled footage shows the whale start to clamp down on the yellow kayak and pull it underwater. But, the kayak pops back up as birds circle the area scavenging for leftover fish. Once again, the two women completely disappear in the video. You can hear Boyle gasp in disbelief and simply utter the word “No.”

“I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna push.’ Like, I’m gonna push a whale out of the way!” Cottriel told FOX26 News. “It was the weirdest thought. I’m thinking, ‘I’m dead. I’m dead.’ I thought it was gonna land on me. Next thing I know, I’m underwater.”

Thankfully, the other kayakers and paddle boarders promptly rescued the two women. In fact, they retrieved their kayak and paddled to shore.

“I was shaking my shirt and a bunch of fish came out of my shirt,” said Cottriel.

Neither of the women suffered injuries from the incident, but McSorely said she lost her car keys. Considering the encounter could’ve been much worse; losing car keys doesn’t sound like a bad trade-off.