Humpback whales surface yards away from woman
TRURO, Mass. (WHDH) -- A close encounter off of the Cape was captured when three humpback whales surfaced just yards away from a woman on a raft.
People pay good money at Boston Harbor to go out whale watching. But no one could ever imagine getting as close as one tourist did for free, and another woman who was nearby with her camera in hand.
"I was screaming, ‘Get out of the water,’ and just trying to capture the picture," Lois Petti said.
You could say Lois Petti has a whale of a tale. She and some friends were boating about a half mile off the coast of North Truro when three humpback whales surfaced right next to a tourist from Sweden sitting on a float.
"Everyone screamed, we were all screaming she got on the boat. And my understanding is she said to her friends, ‘Pour me a stiff drink,’" Petti said.
Usually humpback whales are between 40 and 50 feet, weighing around 75,000 pounds.
A senior scientist with the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies says the woman was probably not in great danger. But for the safety of the whale and yourself, you should keep a safe distance.
"You’re dealing with creatures in their own environment -- animals that are doing their own thing so it’s always wise when you’re dealing with big animals to be cautious. Who knows what might have happened," Charles “Stormy” Mayo, senior scientist.
But Petti says no one expected this. And it's a good reminder, that when out on the water, you're not alone.
"You didn't even see these whales coming close, they just popped up out of nowhere," Petti said. "It was a just real fun experience to have your heart racing and being at sea with these animals. They're really beautiful and peaceful for as large as they are they're so graceful."
Scientists want to remind us that humpback whales are an endangered species and federal regulations require that we try and stay at least 100 yards away.