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Humpback Whale Capsizes Kayak, Almost Swallows Two People

A humpback whale capsized a kayak in California (Representative Image)

What started as a peaceful day of whale watching and kayaking soon turned into a nightmare for Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel. The two friends were watching humpback whales in California when one surfaced underneath their kayak, capsized it and nearly swallowed the two, reports CNN.

Julie and Liz were kayaking off the coast of Avila Beach when the humpback whale surfaced underneath their vessel. 

“I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball come up out of the water. I saw the whale come up,” Julie said to Fox News. “I thought, ‘Oh no! It’s too close.'”

“All of a sudden, I lifted up, and I was in the water,” she said.

“I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna push. Like, I’m gonna push a whale out of the way! 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,” Liz added. 

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Footage of the incident, recorded by an onlooker, makes it seem like the two were nearly swallowed by the whale. Thankfully, they just tipped over and ended up in water after the whale left.

Humpback whales survive on a diet of krill, plankton and small fish. They are powerful swimmers, often found near coastlines. 

Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel escaped without any injuries. Several paddleboarders and kayakers came forward to rescue the two, who were briefly underwater before reemerging. And although Julie lost her car keys, she did gain an incredible story to tell friends and family members. 

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