Close encounter: Whale smashes into sailboat

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A couple recently enjoying a day of sailing near Cape Town harbor in South Africa were surprised when a Southern right whale jumped up and smashed into their boat.

"We'd spotted it about 100 meters away and thought that was the end of it," said Paloma Werner, who was on the boat with her boyfriend and business partner, Ralph Mothes. "Then suddenly it was right up beside us. I assumed it would go underneath the boat, but instead it sprang out of the sea."

The whale smashed into the Intrepid, a 32-foot yacht with a steel hull.

Mothes, who was piloting the boat, ducked behind the wheel as the whale thrashed around the deck and destroyed their mast, before finally slipping back into the water.

"Miraculously nothing happened to us," Werner told CNN.

The moment was photographed by a tourist from Batswana, who was aboard a nearby boat. The couple used their boat's engine to pilot the broken vessel back to shore.

Click here for the full article and photos.

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