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Paddleboarders Have Close Encounter with World’s Friendliest Whale

Outing by pro paddleboarder Todd Mingramm turns into up-close encounter.

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If you’ve ever been on a whale watch, you know the feeling when you see the first burst of water from the ocean as a whale’s body breaches the surface and then, seconds later, its tail descends—all from a safe distance.

Then there’s Australian pro standup paddleboarder Todd Mingramm, who recently came within just a feet of a whale, during a ocean outing with a friend. Mingramm’s pal, holding the selfie-stick-mounted camera, can be heard joking, “I don’t know if Toddy’s going to survive.” He suggests they’re about 5 meters from the whale—or within about 16 feet.

Watch the spellbinding video above.