Dramatic footage shows humpback whale engulfing two kayakers into mouth before spitting them out

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Two Californian women hoped for a close encounter with a humpback whale, but they definitely got more than they bargained for. They will never forget the incredible experience that was inches away to turn into the worst nightmare!


Julie McSorley and her friend Liz Cottriel were kayaking off Avila Beach when they just engulfed into a humpback whale’s mouth. But it all happened so fast, they didn’t even noticed, because the massive mammal spat them back out. The incredible moment was captured on camera by one of the women and by some other whale watchers.

Julie McSorley

“So I knew it was going to be very close, but again, I’d seen whales breach right next kayaks before. So my mind was like, this is going to be, you know, super cool,” Julia McSorley explained. “But then all of a sudden the boat lifted up and we were dumped in the water very, very quickly.”

Sam McMillan Photography

Dramatic video footage shows the two women sitting on a kayak in the bay watching the whales in a feeding frenzy, but all of a sudden a huge bank of fish can be seen reaching the surface of the water right on front of them. Before even realize, the two friends got nearly swallowed by a hungry whale. The large creature scooped them into its mouth before spitting them out within the span of a second.


The other kayakers and paddle boarders immediately rushed to help the two women, but fortunately they were both able to go up on the kayak all by themselves, and they rapidly swan to the shore. Once they reached dry land, they just couldn’t believe they are still alive. Fortunately, both of them escaped unharmed. They only lost the car’s key during their heart-thumping experience.

“We got back to the car, I was shaking my shirt and a bunch of fish came out of my shirt,” Cottriel explained. “We didn’t think we were that close, but we definitely were right in the area that we shouldn’t have been — so I’ve learned my lesson, big time.”

Watch the incredible moment below!

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