Fisherman relives 'amazing' moment he got up close and personal with humpback whale

A humpback whale was captured on camera close to Brighton Marina <i>(Image: Gary Rice)</i>
A humpback whale was captured on camera close to Brighton Marina (Image: Gary Rice)

A fisherman has relived the “amazing” moment he got up close to a humpback whale.

Gary Rice managed to capture the whale on camera as it came metres away from his boat yesterday.

The 69-year-old was off the coast near Brighton Marina chatting to a friend, who was in another boat, when he saw the animal coming straight towards them.

He said he was “shocked” and “surprised” to see the huge mammal.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen one,” he said.

“And I’ve had a boat since I was 13-year-old.

“I was surprised, I was talking to a friend in another boat, and we saw it come towards us.

“It came straight towards us, and it turned around and came right between the pair of us.

The Argus: The humpback whale came close to Gary Rice's boat
The Argus: The humpback whale came close to Gary Rice's boat

The humpback whale came close to Gary Rice's boat (Image: Gary Rice)

“It was 40 to 50ft long.

“We were only in 30ft of water.

“It was an amazing experience.

“I’ve seen lots of dolphins and porpoises and I’ve seen pilot whales, but nothing like this.

“It’s practically unheard of.

“It was lucky I thought quickly to get my phone out and get the pictures.”

Head of Sussex Dolphin Project Thea Taylor said the whale had also been spotted in Dover and asked people to get in touch with the project if they spot it.

“We believe this humpback whale is likely to be the same individual seen around the Dover area over the last two weeks,” she said.

“It is now heading west so we hope it is back on track but would ask anyone that sees the whale to update us as we’re eager to monitor its behaviour and progress.”