Fisherman Knocked Overboard When A Whale Slammed Into The Boat As The Camera Was Rolling


iStockphoto / Andre Erlich

I can count on one hand the number of whales I’ve seen in my lifetime but I haven’t spent a lot of time on the water in areas that are frequented by whales. If I were to see this firsthand I would’ve been screaming with shock and awe like some dude watching David Blaine perform magic on the street.

Alas, these Irish fishermen play it pretty cool as the water erupts around them with life. They were fishing for Irish Cod and later told CorkBeo the water was alive with dolphins, Fin Whales, and Minke Whales all around them. My only brush with Minke Whales was on a restaurant’s menu in Iceland which is quite literally nothing compared to what happened to angler Cris Lane and his pal Dave McCann.

McCann was filming Cris when a whale smashed straight into their boat and sent Cris flying overboard and into the water where he lost his cellphone as Dave McCann who was filming hit the deck from the impact. Thankfully, they were actually wearing lifejackets which seems like really strange boat behavior to me but it worked out for Cris who went overboard and was able to easily recover despite losing his phone.

They shared the video on Facebook which you can see below. If that isn’t loading for you then you can access it directly right here:

It’s not unheard of for whales to slam into boats. They can get caught up in feeding frenzies and lose track of their surroundings and smash into boats as they’re charging an easy meal. But it is pretty rare to catch an incident like this on camera.

Cris spoke with CorkBeo about the incident:

“There were dolphins, Fin Whales and Minke all around us, a group of whales about 300 yards away from us. “Next thing I knew, one of the whales just slammed into the side of the boat. The other guy went flying onto the deck and I went flying off the back of the boat into the water. “Dave got up and he didn’t know where I was, he checked the cabin because he thought I might be in there, it took him a moment to realise I was in the water trying to get back on. Cris says the incident reinforced his belief that you should always wear a life-jacket when out on the water.

Maybe I’ve got lifejackets all wrong. I think of them as being a safety net for someone who isn’t a strong swimmer. For kids. Not for grown men. But this incident could’ve had a very different headline had they not been wearing lifejackets while swimming so maybe I’m wrong for assuming lifejackets aren’t always a good idea.

For more on this, you can head on over to For The Win where they’ve got a closeup photo of the whale as it charged the boat.