A woman catches a humpback whale almost swamping a surfer on video near Santa Cruz. George Kiriyama reports.
Santa Cruz has become a magnet of late for whales and whale watchers.
First there was the photo of a kayaker's close encounter with two whales off Seabright Beach.
That one was captured and promoted by the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council who snapped the photo while out on a marketing shoot on the Monterey Bay.
Word must have spread because kayakers have been hitting the harbor in and around Santa Cruz and Monterey ever since.
Now we have video of one of those close encounters.
A woman named Barb Roettger's posted an amazing encounter just off the Santa Cruz wharf.
She posted the video on YouTube Wednesday.
It shows a woman floating on a surfboard and two people on a kayak floating in the water.
Seemingly out of nowhere comes a very close and very unexpected encounter.
The person taking the video was also clearly very close to the action.
One man who runs a sport fishing and whale watching charter said ocean waters off Santa Cruz are like a circus lately. He told the Santa Cruz Sentinel he has real concerns about people safety, adding he's worried somebody is going to get hurt when a breaching whale comes up under their float.
“I don't think it was disturbing the whales all that much, but the danger for people is incredible. A lot of people don't understand the power of these animals. With a tail throw they could break a kayak or kill someone ... It's just not safe." Kenny Stagnaro told the paper.