Hungry humpback whales nearly eat divers

Last updated 09:07 24/07/2013
YouTube/Shawn Stamback

Divers have a close encounter with humpback whales in Souza Rock on the central California coast in the US.

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Two divers in California had a lucky escape after very nearly becoming the main course in two humpback whales' dinner.

Terrifying footage has emerged of the massive humpback whales emerging from the sea as they chased a school of fish which crossed paths with the divers.

The monstrous creatures scooped up many of the fish at the same time as the divers bobbed in the water less than a metre from them.

Shawn Stamback and Francis Antigua were bobbing in the water Souza Rock, just off the coast of Morrow Bay, when the hungry whales "exploded out of the water".

The pair fled back to their boat, which they were thankful was not far away.

"We could see the whales feeding about a quarter of a mile away when we got into the water to pass time in between dives," Stamback told the Daily Mail.

"As we were floating around in the water hoping to get some shots of the whales in the distance all of a sudden the sardines started going crazy.

"They weigh up to 40 tons and feed on schooling baitfish like these sardines."

Stamback said he thought the whales knew they were in the water, and intentionally avoided them.

"Which is pretty lucky as I was right in the middle of the meatball."

The ordeal was captured by friends back on the boat.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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