"We were just sitting there, not moving, and all of a sudden there was a great big crash," Ian Jory told Thomas. "It lifted the left side of the boat 4 to 6 feet out of the water."
The two collisions—one possibly caused by the whale's tail, or fluke—damaged the boat, leaving cracks through which water started seeping, according to Thomas.
Los Angeles County Lifeguard and Redondo Beach Harbor Patrol boats responded, with one escorting Jory's boat back to King Harbor.
It was not clear what type of whale slammed into the sailboat, or why the creature surfaced when it did. The two largest species of whales—blue whales and fin whales—have both been recently spotted in the area.
- Full story: Sailboat Struck by Whale off Palos Verdes—'All of a Sudden There Was This Great Big Crash' [Pete Thomas Outdoors]