Massive 30-ton humpback whale jumps out of the water and performs perfect pirouette – startling Brazilian canoeists bobbing just a few feet away
- The animal scared paddlers practicing off the Barrinha beach in Barra da Tijuca
- They quickly scramble out of the water and back on board their canoes
- But later the captain said it was a ‘privilege’ to observe the impressive mammal
This is the incredible moment a 30-ton humpback whale leaps out of the water off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, startling a group of Brazilian canoeists bobbing just a few feet away.
The mammal performs a perfect pirouette and crashing back into the sea sending waves rolling towards the boat.
The footage was filmed on Monday by a team of seven paddlers who were practicing off the Barrinha beach in Barra da Tijuca, west zone Rio.
An impressive 30-ton humpback whale leaps out of the water off the coast of Rio de Janeiro
The mammal soars up into the air before performing a perfect pirouette before crashing back into the sea sending huge waves roaring towards the boat
Marcela Carrocino, president of the Quebra-Mar rowing club, who is seen relaxing in the water with her back to the camera looking out to sea, witnessed the event from her front row position.
At first, the athletes spot the humpback’s tail splashing tantalisingly above the water.
Then suddenly the 53-ft long sea creature jumps out to give the amazing private show.
The frightened athlete quickly clambers out of the water as astonished colleagues gasps in disbelief.
One rower shouts in panic: ‘Get out. Be careful because it could land on top of you,’ as another accused her crew member of being ‘mad’ be stay so close.
Reassuring them she was unharmed, Marcela said: ‘Calm down, Everything is ok, stay calm. Shhhh.’
The whales splashes back down in to the sea, creating a huge plume of water up in to the air and waves rolling towards the canoeists
Marcela Carrocino, president of the Quebra-Mar rowing club, who is seen relaxing in the water with her back to the camera, looking out to sea, was in the water when the event happened
In a post on social media she: ‘It was a privilege to watch a humpback jump so beautifully, close up.
‘It was truly a gift from Moana. Our hearts overflowed with emotion.’
Speaking afterwards she added: ‘I couldn’t believe what we had just seen. But after calming down and thanking the humpback for its presence, I felt like it was sign for me.
‘It left me with the belief that I was doing all the right things in my life in terms of dedicating myself to sport, connection with nature and the sea, and my commitment to environmental conservation.
‘It was a very special moment which I’ll never forget.’
Speaking afterwards she added: ‘I couldn’t believe what we had just seen. But after calming down and thanking the humpback for its presence, I felt like it was sign for me
One of the paddlers clasps his hand over his mouth in awe of the spectacle that he has just witnessed
According to marine biologists, this is the time of year when whales and dolphins migrate through the region as they head south for mating.
‘There has already been three sightings of humpbacks cruising along the coast and leaping from the sea.
Experts from Projeto Baleia Jubarte – Humpback Whale Project, said to Brazilian media FA Noticias that the animals are ‘not usually aggressive’ but due to their size, their sudden appearance as they emerge from the depths can result in catastrophic consequences for those who happen to be too close to the action.
Fortunately, no one was injured in this particular encounter and the paddlers returned safely to shore without any further incidents.
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