Avila Beach, a California coastal community north of Santa Barbara, was the scene of a dramatic video of a humpback whale breaching just a few yards from a woman paddling a kayak.
Rhonda Burmeister was paddling last weekend with her daughter when the whale breached between them, filling the screen and startling both women.
Click here to view the stunning footage.
Although neither was injured, Burmeister told KSBY News that another couple near her got knocked out of their kayak because of the weight of the whale.
The local Avila Beach Sea Life Center said the whales that have been seen off Avila Beach for the last week are humpback whales, which are known for feeding in a vertical motion.
Situations such as Burmeister’s have the Port San Luis Harbor Patrol 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. 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," Harbor patrol officer Chris Weddle said.
Weddle said kayakers, swimmers, and boaters are urged to stay at least 100 yards away from the whales, if possible.