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Video surfaces of sailboat struck by breaching whale

July 23, 2010 | 10:53 am

CBS Evening News with Katie Couric shared the above video on Thursday, offering proof that a southern right whale did, indeed, jump out of the water on Sunday and crash onto the sailboat of a couple sailing off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.


There has been some speculation that perhaps the image posted Wednesday on Outposts as well as on numerous other websites had been Photoshopped.

"It is definitely legitimate," Paloma Werner, who had been out sailing with her boyfriend and business partner, Ralph Mothes of the Cape Town Sailing Academy, told Matt Lauer Thursday on NBC's Today Show. "We were on the boat and we saw the whale coming out, and we saw it. It's legitimate -- it hasn't been Photoshopped."

The couple have been speaking publicly about their ordeal.

"I never for a minute thought this thing would hit the boat," Mothes added when speaking with Lauer. "Blow me down, suddenly I saw this huge monster shape come up out of the water on my port side and yeah, that's it. I mean, it just happened in an instant. It was quite frightening."

Officials from the local Department of Environmental Affairs have launched an investigation into the incident after several people came forward to say the boaters had broken the law by approaching the whale and that the 33-foot, 40-ton mammal was provoked into the attack.

-- Kelly Burgess

Video: CBS Evening News, Photo: EPA


Sailboat struck by breaching whale -- is it real or is it Photoshop?

Sailboat struck by breaching whale