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Rare sighting of humpback whale off Phuket

PHOTO: Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูลภูเก็ต Phuket Info Center

A lucky tour boat captain has spotted a humpback whale off the coast of Phuket, an incredibly rare sighting. Charoen Chanaphon was sailing a boat from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi around 11.45am yesterday, August 24, when he spotted the majestic creature.

The boat captain told the Phuket News that at the time, he was unsure what species of whale it was, but the National Science and Technology Development Agency has confirmed from a photo taken by Charoen that it was indeed a humpback.

Charoen says the whale seemed to be heading from a southeasterly direction towards the southwest. Shortly after the boat captain spotted it, its tail rose from the water and the whale then began its descent.

According to the Phuket Info Centre, which shared Charoen’s photo on its Facebook page, it’s extremely rare to see a humpback in Phuket waters. According to the centre, this is only the second official recorded sighting in the area.

If you’re looking to head off the island of Phuket to visit the waters and beautiful island’s in Phang Nga Bay, contact 5 Star Marine.

Humpbacks migrate annually from their feeding grounds in the Antarctic to tropical waters in the southern Indian Ocean, where they mate and calve. While rare to see them in Phuket waters and in the Andaman Sea in general, they are there, as the boat captain’s experience proves.

However, officials have warned people who may see a humpback in the coming days, near Koh Racha or in Phang Nga bay, to keep their distance and sail with caution and respect.

Officials have also asked that any sightings be reported to them, with details such as time, date, and location coordinates.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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