Despite whales being the largest mammals on earth, they are surprisingly graceful and have an uncanny ability to avoid boaters even when they might be crowding the giants too close.

The US Coast Guard requires that boats stay at least 100 yards from any marine mammal, though sometimes that’s not so easy. Whales submerge for long periods of time before surfacing and boats that are trying to track the giants often find themselves in harms way. 

A recent collision between a sailboat and humpback whale in Redondo Beach has caused the American Cetacean Society to take notice. After a video of the encounter was posted to Facebook, the whale society took the opportunity to remind people to the importance of giving whales plenty of space. 

“From this video clip it is difficult to ascertain what led up to the encounter, but this is definitely the kind of situation boaters should work hard to avoid. It is possible that the silent sail boat surprised the whale. A situation like this can easily lead to injuries to both humans and animals,” the group stated on the Facebook page of its Los Angeles chapter. 

Along with staying at least a football field distance away, wildlife officials advice not to approach large mammals and travel in the same general direction to avoid collisions like this one. 

Even though we’re no longer in Europe, our adventures continue in California!! We went sailing off Redondo Beach and a humpback whale collided with us!!!