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Whale breaches feet from fisherman's boat off Hampton Beach

Union Leader Correspondent

August 21. 2018 9:14PM
Zack FaheyFisherman Zack Fahey captured this image from his video of a humpback whale surfacing feet from his boat off Hampton Beach. See video at 

Zack Fahey caught more than a fish when he began recording video moments before a large humpback whale breached just feet from his boat while he fished off Hampton Beach.

“I'm surprised I kept the camera still,” said the 28-year-old Wilmington, Mass., man who has been fishing since he was a kid and has never had a close encounter with a whale like the one he experienced last Friday. Fahey was with his father and a friend in his 20-foot boat when they spotted a large school of Atlantic menhaden nearby and figured it was a good fishing area.

“We were following them around and then I saw the whale from a distance and just kind of saw him coming up and blowing through his blowhole,” Fahey said.

He could tell that the whale was chasing the school of fish and decided to move his boat a little closer.

“I just had a feeling the whale was going to surface somewhere near us,” he said.

That's when he realized it was time to turn on his camera and begin recording, just in case.

Fahey said they were about a mile from shore when the whale rose to the surface and breached approximately five feet from his boat.

“I wasn't expecting him to pretty much touch the boat,” he said, adding that the whale's head was about the size of his boat.

Fortunately, the whale avoided striking the boat. The splashing caused the boat to rock a little, but Fahey said it wasn't “crazy.”

He and the others barely had time to react.

“It happened so fast. I was excited,” he said.

General News Hampton

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