Friends Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel got more than an eyeful while whale watching in the waters off Avila Beach, California on Monday, November 2. The women were on a yellow kayak together when they suddenly saw baitfish swarming around them. Soo,n they were engulfed by a humpback whale. Those around them recorded the unusual incident from various angles. The women were immediately spat out by the whale. Even though they were mouthed by the gigantic creature, the women were unharmed.
Whale watchers on boats, kayaks and paddle-boards were witnessing the magnificent mammals feeding on baitfish under the surface of the water. They did not expect to become witnesses to an extremely rare incident of a whale swallowing people.
McSorley was recording the experience on her phone when she suddenly saw baitfish swarming onto the front of their kayak. Baitfish generally jump out of the water to try and escape from predators. Soon after the fishes started jumping, the women were engulfed by the gaping jaws of a humpback whale. The shaky video from the woman's phone recorded screams getting muffled. The recording continued underwater while the women were heard resurfacing.
Other videos from different angles emerged since the incident. From a distance one of the whale watchers recorded the yellow kayak with McSorley and Cottriel far in front of them. The person pans to the right to show more people out on the water. They focus back on the yellow kayak just as the massive mammal juts out of the water swallowing the women.
From another angle, the women can be seen getting tossed into the whale's mouth before it goes back into the water.
Since the incident, the women spoke to Fox 26 News about the incident.
McSorley said that she started to panic as the baitfish started jumping out of the water. Cottriel said she was afraid that the whale would crush her by falling on top.
After getting too close for comfort, the whale spat the women out. McSorley surfaced first and within seconds, Cottriel was back up. The women were helped by other whale watchers. They managed to get back on the kayak and paddle back to shore.
Cottriel was left shaking fish out of her shirt after reaching land. Both women were unhurt. The only loss was of McSorley's car keys.