Breaching whale nearly inhales pair of kayakers in terrifying video: 'This is my biggest fear'

Alex Lasker
·2-min read

A whale nearly swallowed two kayakers near a California beach in a terrifying clip that has since gone viral.

Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were whale-watching off the coast of Avila Beach on Nov. 1 when a humpback breached the water beneath their double kayak and capsized it, CNN reports.

McSorley told local station KSBY that there were a lot of birds and fish in the area at the time of the incident, which led people to take their phones out thinking a whale might be near.

Stunning footage of the breach was shared on TikTok by a user named Tracy, where it has since been viewed over 4.1M times.

In the clip, a group of kayakers and paddle boarders can be seen sitting still amid the relatively calm waters while looking for whales. All of a sudden, the video pans to the pair of women as they and their kayak appear to be nearly swallowed by a whale.

In reality, the two were just thrown underwater, resurfacing moments later relatively unscathed.

Although both McSorley and Cottriel escaped the incident unharmed — save for a pair of lost car keys — TikTokers still found the incident to be absolutely harrowing.

“This is my biggest fear and I always thought it was irrational so thanks for that,” wrote one user.

Watch: Sri Lanka rescues 120 whales after mass beaching

“After watching hundreds of horror movies I realized that something crazy is about to happen when birds start circling,” noted another.

“Did we just watch someone die,” said a third.

In another clip, shot by one of the capsized kayakers and shared on TikTok by Tracy, it is reinforced that we did not, in fact, witness a murder.

The point-of-view video shows a school of small fish jump out of the water before the camera and the kayaker it’s attached to get turned upside down and dunked into the water.

The friends quickly resurface, asking each other, “Are you ok?”

KMPH reports that McSorley and Cottriel were able to successfully hop back on their kayak and paddle to shore, no rescue required.

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