40-Ton Whale Dismasts Cruising Boat

This photo looks like it's been altered, but according to a report by Jennifer Carlile on and a report on CBS News, it really happened.

July 23, 2010

It’s all fun and games until a 40-ton whale lands on your boat.

It’s all fun and games until a 40-ton whale lands on your boat. Courtesy Of Paloma Werner

According to Carlile, “A South African couple was out sailing near the country’s infamous Robben Island when a 40-ton whale breached and crash-landed on their yacht.”

“”We were watching the whale flipping its tail for about half an hour,” said Cape Town Sailing Academy Administrator Paloma Werner, who was enjoying a Sunday sail with her boyfriend and sailing instructor, Ralph Mothes.

“It breached about 100 to 200 meters from us, then it disappeared under water and reappeared about 10 to 20 meters from the boat, but we didn’t think we were on a collision course,” she told


“The young Southern Right Whale was longer than their 10-meter yacht – most likely between 11 and 14 meters,” Werner said.

“My boyfriend told me to go to the other side of the boat,” she said, explaining that they thought it would dive under their vessel.

“All I heard him say was ‘Oh sh*&,’ and I saw the whale come out of the water and crash against the mast of the boat.


“I ducked behind the coach house and my boyfriend ducked behind the steering wheel and we saw the mast crashing toward us and the whale slip back into the water,” she said.”

Here’s the CBS News interview with Ralph Mothes and Paloma Werner:


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