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A couple on a whale-watching trip off Cape Town, South Africa, say they had a lucky escape when a 10m (33ft) specimen leapt on to their yacht.
The southern right whale, a species known for poor eyesight, snapped the mast before sliding back into the water, said Paloma Werner.
She and her partner had just seconds to take cover, she said. A nearby tourist caught the moment on camera.
"I still like whales," Ms Werner told the BBC afterwards.
The southern right whale navigates by sound, leading Ms Werner to suspect it was an accident.
"Our boat's engine was off and so the whale just didn't know we were there," she said.
"We were just the wrong boat, in the wrong place at the wrong time."