Humpback Whale Swallow 2 Kayakers in Wild at the Coast of California
A peaceful day of whale watching took an unexpected turn for two California kayakers this week.
Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were kayaking off the coast of Avila Beach, California, on Monday when a humpback whale with its mouth agape surfaced underneath them, Fox 26 News reported.
In video footage of the scary incident obtained by PEOPLE, the two women were sitting in a yellow kayak, amid other kayakers and paddle boarders enjoying some whale watching on the water — when suddenly, their boat is lifted out of the water by a huge whale.
When the whale plops back into the water, the duo’s kayak lands upside-down, and someone off-camera can be heard saying “oh s—!”
While in the video it looks as if the pair were almost swallowed, McSorley and Cottriel clarified to Fox 26 News that while it appears the whale had their kayak in its mouth in some video footage, it didn’t — they were simply lifted out of the water.
Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel escaped without any injuries
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.