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A whale flipped a double kayak with two people off San Luis Obispo County, Calif. They were under water for six seconds before making it up for air.

Video Elephant

Two women received an unexpected (and dangerous) visit on Monday — from a humpback whale that overturned their kayak off the coast of California.

Officials tell local media the two are lucky to be alive with no serious injuries. They were underwater for six seconds before making it up for air.

In video footage taken by surrounding kayakers, it appears the whale nearly swallows them whole — but Julie McSorley, one of the women, confirmed to KSBY-6 News that  only the kayak was overturned by the whale’s mouth. McSorley said she and her friend were thrown into the water.

Experts continue to advise whale-watchers to be cautious in the ocean. In Marine Life Viewing Guidelines, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) instructs individuals to observe whales from a safe distance — of at least 100 yards, or the length of a football field. In some states and regions, other species-specific laws mandate even greater distance.

“Viewing marine animals in their natural habitat can be an exciting experience — watching a group of dolphins leaping across the water, seeing a sea turtle nesting on a beach, or encountering a colony of seals basking in the sun,” writes NOAA. “Although it can be tempting to try to get close to these marine animals, it’s always best to view them from a safe and respectful distance for their safety — and yours.”

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