Photo Captures Terrifying Moment a Whale Breached Too Close to Boat

A photographer has captured the incredible moment a humpback whale breaches close to a boat in Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, Australia.

Amateur photographer, Carly Adams said she couldn’t believe her eyes after she captured the amazing shot on Sunday.

Adams, who has been shooting nature for the last eight years, had been tracking the humpback whale for an hour before the animal exploded out of the water and breached right next to a boat at around 11:00.

Adams used a Nikon D3500 camera and a Tamron 100-400mm lens to get the shot.

” I was following the whale about an hour until it broke multiple times,” she said.

“It wasn’t a long process. It was a matter of luck that I happened to be in the perfect place at the right moment to capture those photos.

” “It was amazing, and I couldn’t believe it when I saw the photo,” she says.

After Adams posted the photo on social media, it went viral. Several Australian publications reported the story.

” The response has been insane, it’s become viral,” Adams says. Adams says, “I never would have predicted that one of my photographs would get such a response.” It captured people’s imagination by how close the whale was to the boat.”

According to the Whale Trust Organization, the precise motives behind humpback whale breaching behavior are uncertain. Scientists believe that the animals use their motion to get rid of parasites.

Breaching could also be a way for humpback whales to cautiously check out their surroundings, or might use the motion as a form of communication in certain environments.

In a statement to ABC News Australia, Jools Farrell, vice-president of the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA), says the best thing to do if a whale breaches near a vessel is to stay put. She says whales, especially younger ones, could breach multiple times.

“I’ve seen an adult whale breach three to four times within minutes,” Farrell says. “You just don’t know. It’s just part of whale behavior and the whale season.”

Farrell tells ABC News Australia that she had seen footage of whales that have breached and landed on boats, but has not heard of any fatalities from such incidents.

Last year, Petapixel reported on the moment photographer Douglas Croft captured a large humpback whale breaching right next to an unsuspecting fisherman on his boat in California’s Monterey Bay.

For more from Carly Adams, make sure to follow her on Instagram.

Image credits: Photos by Carly Adams Photography/@carlyadams_photography