'They're under the boat!' Whales dwarf 5m fishing tinnie

IT STARTED as a normal fishing trip in the tinnie, but when two huge humpback whales decided to play around close to the boat the mood definitely changed.

Brenton Mansfield and Jye Johnson were trawling lures off Coolum when they saw the pair about 1km away.

"I wasn't worried as they looked like they were resting until Jye noticed they started swimming our way," Mr Mansfield said.

"As a precautionary measure we retrieved our lures until we could tell the whales had safely passed.

"But we could not see them anywhere, until Jye yelled out 'there under the boat!'."

 

Two huge humpback whales came in close to Brenton Mansfield's tinny when he was out fishing off Coolum Beach.
Two huge humpback whales came in close to Brenton Mansfield's tinny when he was out fishing off Coolum Beach. Brenton Mansfield

The fishermen sat quietly hoping to avoid spooking the giant mammals as they passed by, but then, Mr Mansfield said, they "turned around and came right up to the boat".

It was then he whipped out his underwater camera and started snapping.

"I honestly believed we were in no danger as they approached us and were very curious, several times they would stick there head out of the water and we could see there eyes looking at us," Mr Mansfield said.

"We would wave to them and respect their curiosity until they started getting too close, and that's when my five-metre tinnie felt very small!

"So I put the motor into gear and slowly started moving back to shore as I did not want to spook them or even worse, accidentally hit one.

"To our surprise we heard a large blow and looked behind us and they were following us in the wake of my boat.

"It was then I knew we were a safe distance to pick up our speed and let them continue there journey."

Mr Mansfield said the photographer in him wanted to stay close and capture the moment, but "common sense" told him it was time to move on.


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