Whale researcher recounts moment his boat window was shattered by a humpback whale

Whale researcher recounts moment his boat window was shattered by a humpback whale

WATCH: A humpback whale was spy-hopping around Peter Hamilton’s boat near Comox when it lowered back into the water on an angle with its huge head hitting a window.

Peter Hamilton was back on his boat Tuesday surveying the damage after a close encounter with a humpback whale last week.

“That’s the scene of the accident,” he said, pointing to a shattered window.

The incident happened Thursday when the huge whale came in for a really close look at Hamilton as he was studying whales off Comox.

“The engine was off and these two whales started to approach the boat and sometimes they approach and just go by but they started hanging around the boat,” said Hamilton, founder of Lifeforce Ocean Friends.

They were in no rush to leave and were spy-hopping for several minutes around his 24-foot (seven metre) boat.

“They are as curious as we are when we want to study them and look at what they’re doing in their home so they’re checking out this floating object and this strange species on it,” he added.

Then suddenly one of the whales got too close, hitting its head the side of the boat smashing one of the windows.

“It went back down on an angle and accidentally shattered the window,” said Hamilton.

The encounter lasted about 20 minutes but the whales had one more surprise for Peter before they left.

“They were over on this side and one of the flippers hit this side of the boat and then one of them was beside the boat and it started lifting the boat a little bit and I thought oh this is very unusual behaviour,” said Hamilton.

He says it’s a good example of how accidents can happen and why people should be careful on the water giving whales as much room as possible.

He waited until the whales were about 200 metres away before he motored back to Comox.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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