(CNN)Boaters in Massachusetts had a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a real-life whale tail.
A humpback breached and landed on the bow of a fishing boat near Plymouth on July 24, CNN affiliate WBZ-TV reported.
The whale broke the water's surface around 10 a.m. a few hundred yards off of Manomet Point. No one was injured, and the huge marine animal safely slid off the boat and back into the water. The 19-foot boat had only minor damage.
Humpback whales can grow up to 60 feet in length and weigh up to 40 tons, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries (NOAA Fisheries). They can live up to 90 years and mostly feed on small crustaceans like krill and small fish. They migrate around the world, traveling thousands of miles to feed, find their mates, and bear their calves.
One witness, Justin Enggasser, was on a nearby boat with his son when he watched the whale land on the fishing boat's bow. He called the experience a "total shock."
"Can't believe it's that close to a boat, that close to us, and especially when it landed on the boat," he said. "It was just shocking."
On Tuesday, the NOAA Fisheries New England/Mid-Atlantic warned on Twitter that three juvenile humpback whales were feeding off of Plymouth. The agency encouraged people to stay at least 100 feet away from whales.
The Plymouth Harbormaster, the Massachusetts Environmental Police, and the NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement are patrolling the area to help keep boaters and whales safe.