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Mom, Daughter Get Close To 24-Foot Humpback Whale At Jersey Shore

MANASQUAN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A New Jersey teenager has a "whale" of a tale to tell her friends after a playful day at the Jersey Shore.

CBS2's Meg Baker reported 17-year-old Taylor Schultz and her mom, Tracy Garofalo-Schultz, got up close and personal with a 24-foot whale in Manasquan.

"We were sitting on the beach … and we saw a whale jump out of the ocean," Taylor said.

As soon as Taylor and her mom spotted the whale, they jumped into action and grabbed their wave runners so they could get a closer look.

"It came up and kind of looked at us," Taylor said.

"The whale was playing with us for quite some time," Garofalo-Schultz explained.

As the pair approached the humpback whale 75 yards from shore, they kept a safe distance until they thought the whale might be in distress.

"It was slapping its fin back and forth," Taylor said. "We thought there was a fishing net trapped around it."

However, that wasn't the case as the whale seemed to like the attention, splashing and jumping. Garofalo-Schultz said the whale was "absolutely gorgeous."

"We thought we would head back in but the whale actually came in front of the wave runner and blocked us and breeched right out of the water and started following us back," she said.

The Brielle residents said they have seen a lot more sealife than usual this summer.

"More dolphins, more whales, more sharks, I guess. It's definitely kind of cool and neat, you just have to respect it, keep boundaries and be safe," Garofalo-Schultz said.

The Schultzs made sure to let the Coast Guard know that the whale was close to shore and to the large fishing vessels in the area.

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