Photographer Dale Frink's whale-watching expedition ended with a trip into the surf

By Nate Jones
Updated July 08, 2014 03:45 PM
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Credit: Storyful

Photographer Dale Frink‘s whale-watching expedition ended with the surprise appearance of two blue whales in the one place he didn’t expect – right behind his boat.

As he explained on his blog, Frink booked a one-man whale-watching trip outside San Diego on July 2, hoping to get some good shots of he whales in action.

After observing a pair of blue whales, as well as some bottlenose dolphins, Frink and the captain were surprised when one of the whales made a surprise turn, and then disappeared below the surface. Following guidelines, the boat’s captain stopped the boat until the par could be sure of the whale’s location.

“Unfortunately for us,” Frink wrote, “the blue whales eventually resurfaced directly behind the boat without warning, mouths completely open in the middle of another lunge feed. We had little time to react.”

At such a close distance force of the whales’ surfacing was enough to capsize Frink’s boat. In the few seconds before the vessel completely overturned, Frink had just enough awareness to turn and snap a single photo. Then it was into the water – an ordeal all captured by the GoPro camera he had affixed to the boat.

After his video began going viral, Frink defended the boat’s captain, saying she had been adhering to whale-watching’s established guidelines in the moments before the incident.

“I cannot stress enough that the captain was doing her best not to get too close to these animals, and that she did her best to follow proper procedure,” he wrote. “It was a freak accident that is very rare for whale-watching boats.”

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