Can whale watching be dangerous?

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Whale watching can be defined as observation of whales in their natural habitat living undisturbed. The spectators usually just stand on the deck of the boat or at the end of the pier watching these marine mammals with a pair of binoculars.

Although most people go for it for recreational purposes it is seldom used for scientific and educational purposes as well.

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Whale watching is a billion dollar business where annually thousands of people get a chance to observe these majestic creatures in their natural environment since as early as 1900’s.

It is pretty obvious with such a record of onlookers it is a fairly safe industry. Very rare do you ever learn about any major accident on any kind of whale watching vessel.

Whales are generally very friendly ocean creatures. For the most part, they are just curious and are seen to approach boats to understand what is going on with no harmful intention. Some, however, are shyer and prefer solidarity.

It is highly unlikely that a being attacked by a  whale. The very few instances where attacks have been seen are that made by killer whales (which are dolphins and not whales).

Even they react, if they do, in frustration from captivity. Trainers that have been targeted have mostly been pulled underneath the water and drowned rather than being eaten.

Since whales are immense mammals and through peaceful, there is always an unpredictability. If they do come in contact with a vessel there certainly are risks of it being capsized. So certain precautions are a must in this regard.

  • Do not approach whales in an ocean without expert supervision either by boat or by diving.
  • Ensure going with a reputable company who have passed a course in protection and observation of the whales and passenger safety inspection. Make sure they possess a proper license.
  • Young children should be avoided in such trips as they tend to get bored and fussy causing unpredictable behaviour.
  • Don't feed the whales. Enticing them towards the boat can cause unexpected accidents.
  • Even though most experienced whale watching operators know the rules, it is dangerous when people on personal equipment and boats with no experience unknowingly get in the whales’ way.

It is better to stay safe than sorry.

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