The dramatic moment a humpback slapped its tail off a small whale watching tour boat has been caught on camera.
Remarkable footage captured by David Mulder shows the whale colliding with the tourists’ vessel as it sailed off Brier Island in Canada’s Nova Scotia on September 2.
Mulder and eight other passengers on the inflatable boat were caught by surprise by the humpback whale’s sudden appearance.
The whale then slams its tail onto the end of the boat, narrowly missing one of the stunned passengers.
The captain of the boat, Guy Melville, told Global News it had been a quiet day on the water.
“I think people were just awestruck,” Melville said, predicting the whale was longer than 15 metres and over twice the size of their boat.
“Being incredibly intelligent animals, I think it was partly a curiosity move and partly a little bit of a dominance move,” he said.
The Canadien Fisheries Department’s regulations require people and vessels to maintain a minimum distance of 330 feet from most whales and dolphins.
The encounter only lasted a few moments while the boat was stationary with its motor turned off.
It’s not the first time a small boat came too close for comfort with a whale after two Queensland police officers took selfies just metres from a giant humpback last month.