B.C. couple has close encounter with grey whale while fishing

The giant mammal appears to lift the boat up before swimming away

This is what I call a close encounter of the big kind.

A B.C. couple was fishing in the Broken Group Islands on the west side of Vancouver Island when a grey whale surfaced right next to and under their boat. It appears from the video the whale slightly lifts the boat out of the water. The woman captured it all and sent it to Global BC.

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These kind of encounters are called "friendlies", but it's easy to see how something like this would be scary. Grey whales can grow up to 15 metres in length and weigh 30 tonnes. You can hear the trembling in both people's voices.

(Warning: contains coarse language)

While this is much closer than most people get on even whale watching tours, the Vancouver Sun reports a federal official confirmed at least four similar incidents in the past month around that area of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

"It's not a good situation," said Paul Cottrell, marine mammal coordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada to the Sun. "You don't want that to happen for the whale's sake and for the people's sake."

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While it may not be good, Jim Darling, a biologist who extensively studies grey whales, said it's usually gentle with the whale just raising the boat up a bit and then putting it back down.

He told the Sun they get used to rubbing up against tour boats in Mexico and migrate up to Canada. Where it could get dangerous is if the people in the boat panic and try to move. They could end up frightening the whale.