Zack Fahey has spotted more whales while fishing this year, so when he was out at sea by Hampton Beach in New Hampshire last Thursday evening, the sight of a humpback whale nearby wasn’t too unusual.
But what happened next was a first for Fahey.
In a video that has since gone viral, the 28-year-old Wilmington, Massachusetts, resident captured the whale breaching only about 5 feet from the 20-foot fishing boat he was on with his father and his friend, Jojo.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of whales lately,” he said. “I’ve never seen a whale come this close before. Never.”
Fahey said he was about a mile off the shore when he first saw the whale surface, swimming near a school of bait fish.
“I had gotten my phone out when I first saw him, and I was getting videos of him, but he was farther away,” he said. “I was just hoping for him to even come to the top of the water — anywhere. And then I just happened to be recording when he came up.”
The whale wasn’t out of the water for too long, but Fahey was able to get the entire scene on camera.
“It was exciting,” he said. “It was scary after, just thinking about it’s probably going to hit the boat. He jumped like right next to it — the boat shook a little. I feel like I was looking up at it, and I’m about 6 feet tall.”
When Fahey first posted the video on his Facebook page, he said the reactions of his friends motivated him to share the clip with various media outlets.
“You got to send this to the news,” he recalled them saying. “This video is crazy.”
It has since been viewed by many.
“I’m just glad I got it on camera for everyone else to see,” Fahey said. “I would love to see that every time I go out there.”