Blue whale swims alongside stunned paddleboarder off SoCal coast

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Thursday, September 1, 2022
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CLOSE ENCOUNTER: A blue whale swam right next to a paddleboarder off the coast of Dana Point in an encounter captured on video.

DANA POINT, Calif. (KABC) -- A paddleboarder got the surprise of his life just off Dana Point when he got an up-close view of a blue whale -- and it was all captured on video.

Bill Clements had his GoPro rolling when he suddenly encountered the largest mammal on the planet right next to him.

"Oh my God!" Clements repeatedly said in the video.

Video shows as Clements keeps paddling and the whale swims alongside him. Clements was so close, he was able to get an incredible view of the whale slightly break through the surface of the water.

"Look at him! There he is," he said as water spouted out of the whale's blowhole.

At one point, Clements noticed the whale was underneath him.

He then pulled the GoPro from his head and captured an underwater shot of the mammal as it swam by.

Clements posted the video to his Instagram, @paddlegoat. He said the encounter happened Aug. 24, just a few miles off Dana Point Harbor.

He said he paddled along the giant blue whale for an entire hour. He added that his fear was overshadowed by excitement to be in the presence of the amazing creature.