Nearby whale watchers looked on in fright, as the creature flipped the couple into the water Saturday near Monterey Bay’s Moss Landing Harbor.
A video filmed by a Sanctuary Cruises passenger and shared by the company on Facebook shows the whale’s “full 180 degree breach.” One passenger can be heard anxiously asking, “The kayak! The kayak! Where’s the kayak?” followed by applause when the couple appeared unharmed.
The kayaking company that took the paddlers out that day has halted its whale-watching tours, citing the safety of both its kayakers and the whales.
Saturday’s kayakers, who are tourists from the United Kingdom, were paddling through a large pod of humpback whales, when they were knocked underwater. They were less than a mile from shore. Both were wearing life vests, and some other paddlers helped right their boat.
The company immediately made the decision to suspend its whale-watching tours.
“We’ve talked to some biologists, and we feel it’s probably affecting the health of the whales, affecting their ability to feed, so we just want to make sure that the whales are safe out there and keep everybody safe here,” Furey told KSBW-TV.