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Brothers Ben and James Cullen were fishing off the coast of Australia on Tuesday when they captured the incredible moment a humpback whale almost sent them overboard after it jumped out of the water on video.


“It was a pretty magical moment,” Ben, 26, said, adding that they were initially attempting to film another whale in the distance. “Just as my brother went to film it, we had what was possibly this whale’s calf breach right next to the boat and pretty well splashed us, filled the boat with water and gave us the fright of our life.”

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The dramatic footage of the encounter was shared on Facebook, and it shows the huge whale launching itself out of the sea just a few feet from the Cullen brothers’ boat. As it lands back in the water, it creates a giant ripple in the ocean and sends the boat rocking from side-to-side.

“That exact moment this huge whale jumped out of the water, it must only have been about a metre from the boat,” James, 27, said. “It just completely drenched the both of us. At the time it was like it happened in slow motion, so we didn’t really have time to be scared. We are lucky to be here though, it could have turned out way worse for us. Luckily he was well aware of us and knew exactly where we were. He was definitely just showing off. I think he had a big rush of energy and was trying to prove who was the bigger man.”

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It was the boat’s second trip out to sea, and the brothers claim whale sightings usually aren’t a “good sign” for their fishing efforts. However, Tuesday’s encounter seems to have brought them some good luck, as they both managed to hit their “personal best” by catching two Spanish mackerel.

Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare. Follow her on Twitter @_carlbeck.
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