A humpback whale was ready for a close-up shot that raged in front of the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center and other iconic attractions near New York Harbor on Tuesday.
“The whale just blew 1000 yards off my bow!” Bjoern Kils, 41, got stuck when he took photos of him about an estimated 40-meter-long creature.
The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed reports of the vision, but said it will only participate if the whale becomes tangled or otherwise endangered.
“We’re aware, but it’s very normal to get whales out there,” NCO Anthony Pappaly told Reuters.
In recent years, more than a dozen whales have been spotted in New York waters, according to state data. Some are close to the coast, up to 550 meters from Queen Rockaway Beach.
Kils, to whom the New York Media Boat delivers news teams and magazine photographers, said he spotted the whale around 10 a.m. LIVE near Ellis Island.
He immediately tried to warn the other ships to make a wide harbor in the hope that it could safely swim across the Narrows Strait, which separates Staten Island and Brooklyn, into the Atlantic Ocean. Among the ships motoring toward the whale were the Staten Island ferry, a cargo ship, and several tugboats.
“It’s a bit of a silver lining with Covid, that there’s not a lot of boat traffic here, and the whale has a very good chance of getting out into the ocean,” Kils said as he spoke on the phone from his boat.
For hours, the whale emerged one breath at a time, along the New York coastline with attractions such as the Empire State in the background.
“As we passed the Statue of Liberty, it poked its tail out of the water twice!” Kils said.