One of the questions being asked regarding a humpback whale that had attracted such a large crowd for several days off Redondo Beach was this: What happens if the giant mammal decides to breach? Someone could be killed.
Turns out, the whale did breach, and the event was captured on videotape Saturday by Hermosa Beach resident Marc Racunas. The footage was uploaded Tuesday onto YouTube (pay attention at the 16-second mark).
Fortunately, the whale breached after it had been given at least a little space.
It was first spotted outside King Harbor on Jan. 15. Because of its close proximity and summer-like weather, it was visited daily for six days by people aboard paddleboards, jet skis, kayaks, small boats and big boats. Few paid attention to NOAA guidelines advising people to maintain a distance of 100 yards or more, and many seemed to be in clear violation of a federal law banning the harassment of marine mammals.
NOAA did not maintain any kind of enforcement presence.The last known sighting of the whale, nicknamed "Stinky," was on Sunday.