26 October 2021.

Kayakers warned off by female humpback

By  Unsigned,   Thursday, 06 March 2008

Two kayakers off the Hawaiian island of Maui had the fright of their lives when they paddled into the path of a female humpback whale protecting her young.

The pair were on a trip to spot sea turtles when they encountered the whale, which flapped her fin to warn them off before surging out of the water, according to the Times.

Both kayakers escaped unharmed. It is thought that the humpback whale migrated to the shallow waters to give birth to her calves.

"Obviously this can't be helped if the whale comes up beneath or next to you," Dr Quincy Gibson, research director at Pacific Whale Foundation, told the paper.

"We want to remind ocean users to operate with utmost care and at slow speeds in areas where whales are present."

Boat drivers are required to travel below 13 knots and to stay 100 yards away from humpbacks, which can grow up to 16 metres in length.

Humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres each year and tend to live alone or in small groups.