Saturday 19 October 2019

'Switch on the mobey, Dad' - Tomas's close encounter with humpback caught on camera

Tomas Deane (14) face to face with a humpback whale off the Kerry coast
Tomas Deane (14) face to face with a humpback whale off the Kerry coast

A Kerry father and son had an incredible experience when they came face-to-face with a humpback whale off the south-west coast.

Terry and Tomas Deane, from Camp, have been going whale and dolphin watching on their boat for four years.

However, they've never had a close encounter like this one - and they were lucky enough to capture the footage.

The pair were delighted when three humpback whales circled their boat, with one rising above the water in a face-to-face encounter.

"I had never seen anything like it. I was very surprised," Tomas (14) told the Herald.


Dad Terry said they were both "shocked", adding: "There were three surrounding the boat and we just didn't know where to look.

"They've never been so close to the boat."

Terry and Tomas decided to check out the spot, 24km north-west of Brandon, on June 21 as they had seen dolphins and minke whales there before.

They had previously fed a single humpback and took little notice at first as the whales are not unusual in the area.

However, the humpback then vanished underwater and returned some time later, with two other whales by its side, surrounding the boat.

Tomas with his mother Noirin. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Tomas with his mother Noirin. Photo: Domnick Walsh

In the video, Tomas can be seen inches away from one of the majestic creatures.

"It was absolutely fantastic for him," said Terry.

"We've seen humpback whales a good few times but never like this.

"It's our activity that we do together, our getaway. It all depends on the weather - normally we go out until November and then don't go again until April."

Tomas added: "I love seeing the whales and dolphins.

"We mostly head out during the summer, whenever the weather is good."

The pair were lucky to capture the underwater video on a GoPro camera and the video of the whale above the water on a phone.

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