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A family trip out to sea took a turn for the worse when the dad was knocked overboard and almost swallowed whole after a whale crashed into the side of the boat.
Gillian Gherbavaz was out with her family for a spot of whale watching off the coast of Algoa Bay, South Africa, on 3 April, when they collided with the huge mammal.
Incredible footage has been released showing the moment a famished Bryde's whale leapt out of the water with its mouth wide open looking for something to eat.
The 40-ton animal struck the side of the boat, which caused it to rock violently, sending the 22-year-old chiropractic student's dad Marino crashing into the water.
Luckily, another boat was nearby and able to pick up the 51-year-old and get him out of harm's way.
Speaking about the terrifying moment, Gillian, from Gqeberha, South Africa, said: "When I realised it was my dad in the water, I panicked. I could not understand why he was in the ocean.
"He is not normally the type to make a spectacle, so I was very confused. Once I knew he was okay and could swim to the boat on his own I relaxed.
"The whale and dolphins had moved on so I couldn't see any immediate danger.
"When he got back in the boat, I went to him and said, 'What did you do that for?' and we both laughed so I knew he was okay."
Gillian said the whale was trying to get to a school of fish that were using the boat as cover to escape a pod of common dolphins.
So when it attempted to get a mouthful of the fish, it smashed right into the boat.
She said: "I was relieved to see him laugh at what had happened and we quickly started discussing how he had ended up in the water.
"My mom took a bit longer to realise he was okay though."
But despite having seen her father almost gobbled up by a whale, it hasn't put Gillian and her family off further trips out to sea.
She added: "My whole family were on the boat, as well as my aunt and uncle. We did a similar trip in December and loved it so much we decided to go again. We will probably go many more times in the future."
Raggy Charters is the oldest Marine Eco Tour company combined with a conservation project in Africa running since 1992.
Owner Lloyd Edwards said: "Luckily the whale didn't hit us in the middle, otherwise the boat would have been in real trouble. It was a glancing blow to the side.
"It still left a hole in the boat but we have fixed that already and we filed a report with the coast guard immediately. We have a 100 percent safety record."
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media
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