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Kayaker Swims With Blue Whale Off Redondo Beach (VIDEO)

First Posted: 10/24/11 11:32 AM ET Updated: 12/24/11 05:12 AM ET

This isn't your typical leisurely sea-kayaking excursion.

Rick Coleman, a kayaker paddling off the Southern California coast, had quite the adventure earlier this month when he got up-close-and-personal with a blue whale.

And lucky for us, Rick had a camera mounted to his head and recorded the encounter with the world's largest animal.

"It was so close...it just got your heart really pumping," he said in an interview posted on KSDK.com.

Coleman was kayaking off Redondo Beach when he spotted a blue whale feeding.

In the video, available above, Coleman paddles next to the whale for about a minute. Then, because apparently being in a kayak next to a whale isn't close enough for him, he jumps off the kayak to go for a swim with the huge mammal.

While the product of the Coleman's adventure is stunning, experts advise against getting so close to these animals.

"These are wild and powerful animals," Monica DeAngelis, a marine mammal biologist with the NOAA Fisheries Service, told Pete Thomas of PeteThomasOutdoors.com. "One move of a flipper or the whale's fluke and this person could have been seriously hurt."

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that researchers have found that more and more blue whales are feeding in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, putting the animals at risk of being injured or killed by ships.

And speaking of getting close with wild animals, Coleman was quite a bit luckier than Evan Van Der Spuy, the cyclist who got taken out by an antelope just a few weeks ago.

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Filed by Timothy Stenovec  |