Lunging humpback whale with mouth ajar nearly capsizes boat; video

A group of fishermen watched in shock as a humpback whale nearly capsized their 19-foot boat as it surfaced to gulp down baitfish off Staten Island.

After fishing for a couple hours off Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the fishermen noticed a breaching humpback whale and stopped the boat.

"We're like, 'Whoa, slow down,'" Paul Ziolkowski of Union Beach, New Jersey, told WABC. "So we stayed 100-150 yards away from it just to be on the safe side."

But when it came within 60 yards, they inexplicably decided to move a little closer and then this happened:

You can see the boat get rocked and a baitfish flying into the boat when the whale splashes down. Ziolkowski told WABC the whale was so close he could have slapped its fin.

"I was scared afterwards when I realized what just happened and the possibility of how close we actually came to flipping over and capsizing," he told WABC.

"It's just this giant Goliath thing just pulls right up and taps the side of the hull and I'm standing right here like this, filming, and I'm like, I swear I was stuck, I was mesmerized."

The humpback whale begins surfacing with mouth agape as it feeds on bunker.

Ziolkowski added more detail on Facebook, as reported by

“This definitely was one of the craziest experiences in my life and I’ve had many, who — would have thought I would see some Moby Dick — right here outside the Verrazano on my boys 19 footer. That humpback was chasing bunker all the way up to the side jumped out of the water and tapped the hull of my boat, knocking bunker into the boat. Crazy, I know it sounds like a fish story LOL but these #NewJersey waters are serious.”

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