Blue whale capsizes boat off San Diego

The boaters said the big blue whale came right at their vessel with its mouth wide open. Dale Frink/KFMB

SAN DIEGO - Two boaters on a whale-watching trip off coast of San Diego got the surprise of their lives when one of the whales decided to watch them - getting so close that if flipped their boat over.

The boaters were watching some blue whales feed on krill Wednesday from what they thought was a safe distance when one of the whales approached them, CBS affiliate KFMB-TV reported.

The next thing they knew, a giant blue whale with its huge mouth wide open came right at them.

"It just came down. I literally thought it was going to take a bite out of the back of boat," said boat captain Cici Sayer, an experienced whale-watching guide.

As the 23-foot boat started overturning, passenger Dale Frink grabbed hold of his camera and started shooting.

"I said to myself, 'Dale, just do what you can, keep yourself safe, but if you can save that camera, save the camera!'" he told KFMB.

Both Sayer and Frink were dumped into the water, about 12 miles off the coast. Another boater reported the accident and helped get the victims out of the water, Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Terrell said.

The two had some bruises but weren't seriously hurt. The whale didn't stick around.

Frink said on his blog, DaleFrink.com, that it was quite an adventure, and he stressed that Sayer was "doing her best" not to get too close to the whales.

"It was a freak accident that is very rare for whale watching boats," he wrote.

A commercial salvage vessel was called out to right the foundered boat, the Cosat Guard said.

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