November 14, 2017
In the words of Lando Calrissian, that was too close.
Brian Shea, a paddle boarder who manages a Jersey Shore dolphin and whale watching Facebook page, took his board onto the ocean off the coast of his hometown of Long Branch on Saturday, and caught a rather intimate encounter with a humpback whale.
In a video he posted to Facebook, the whale can be seen surfacing not far off in the distance. Seconds later, the enormous mammal appears just a few feet away from Shea's board, causing Shea to yelp in excitement.
Shea told NBC10 he was "in awe" of the experience.
"Generally I'm not scared of the dolphins or whales as they're not aggressive, but I also respect their space and appreciate that they are wild animals, so anything can happen," he told the news station.
You can watch Shea's encounter with the whale below.