(CNN)Two whale watchers had a close encounter while kayaking off the coast of Avila Beach, California, that they will likely never forget.
Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were watching humpback whales on Monday when one decided to get up close and personal. A whale came up underneath them and caused them to capsize.
“I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball come up out of the water,” McSorley told CNN affiliate KMPH. “I saw the whale come up. I thought, ‘Oh, no! It’s too close.'”
“All of a sudden, I lifted up, and I was in the water.”
Footage from a witness nearby makes it appear as if the kayakers are being swallowed by the whale, but the two just tipped over.
“The whale was right here in my face, literally,” Cottriel told KMPH.
“I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna push. Like, I’m gonna push a whale out of the way! It was the weirdest thought. I’m thinking, ‘I’m dead. I’m dead.’ I thought it was gonna land on me. Next thing I know, I’m underwater.”
The two managed to escape unscathed, briefly going underwater after capsizing before reemerging.
Humpback whales typically feed on krill and small fishes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The NOAA says humpback whales are popular among whale watchers as they are active on the surface and often jump out and slap the water with their pectoral fins or tails.