Whales circle man who foolishly went swimming with them; video

It is illegal to swim with or harass whales in South Africa, but that didn't stop one man from foolishly flouting the laws and taking a swim with two humpback whales, even getting close enough to touch them.

Initially, Graeme Grant, a tour operator with Oceans Africa Diving and Whale Watching in Cape Town, spotted four whales together in the middle of the bay.

"After watching for a while, they split up and two whales moved into the bay and came very close to the shoreline," the 47-year-old told Caters News. "The whales were chasing each other around and then they started circling each other, close to the rocks and a public footpath.

"We then saw a man in the water, and I couldn't believe it when he actually touched one of the whales."

Even though the South African Marine Authority prohibits swimming with and harassing whales, Grant was amazed to witness the interaction between the man and whales, though he certainly did not condone the ill-advised behavior.

"What the swimmer did was foolish, as well as dangerous and illegal, and I hate to see harassment of whales, so I can't endorse his actions in any way," he told Caters.

He was also astounded that the foolish man didn't get hurt.

"One slap of a fin would swat him like a fly," Grant said. "Amazingly, the whales both just circled him, and [then] moved away."

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