California harbor officials say two kayakers are lucky to be alive after they were nearly swallowed by a humpback whale on Monday.
The incident happened near Avila Beach, where Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were whale watching from their kayaks, McSorley says. “I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball come up out of the water,” she says.
“Then I saw the whale come up. I thought, ‘Oh no! It’s too close.'” She was right. The resulting wave dumped the pair into the water, landing just feet away from the ocean mammal’s open mouth, video reveals.
Other kayakers came to their rescue and got the pair to shore, Cottriel says.
“When we got back to the car, I was shaking my shirt and a bunch of fish came out of my shirt,” she says.
There’s no word on whether they plan to kayak again anytime soon.