Humpback Whale Scares Kayakers in Avila Beach

Published on Aug 21, 2012 by 
A woman kayaking in the middle of a California bay has captured the moment a massive whale unexpectedly jumped out of the water just metres away from her daughter.

Rhonda Burmeister was out paddling with her daughter at Port San Luis on the weekend when a swarm of seagulls started diving into a nearby patch of water.

Moments later a humpback whale jumped out of the water right beside them.

While she admits the up close encounter could have ended badly, Ms Burmeister said it was one of the best experiences of her life, television station KSBY reports.

A nearby couple weren't so lucky, according to Ms Burmeister, who said they were knocked out of the kayak by the whale.

The recent encounter is one of many in the Port San Luis area, which is why the harbour patrol are on high alert.

"We have a couple different boats that get out on the water and we make sure people aren't pursuing the animal," Harbour Patrol Officer Chris Weddle said.

"Within the past week, we've actually had a couple of incidents where people have been knocked off of their kayaks, so we're just out there trying to keep people safe."

Australian regulations forbid coming within 100m of whales.

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