Shocking video from Maui captures a charter boat's up-close encounter with a whale. It is illegal in Hawai'i for aircraft to get closer than one-thousand feet above a humpback whale, or a person to get within 100 yards if they're in or on the water -- but there are no similar protections for other types of whales.
The footage shows a charter boat so close, it actually bumps into the whale. You can see the moment the whale and boat make contact, as passengers reach over the side to touch the whale.
If the whale is not a humpback, but rather a sperm whale as some have suggested, it is not protected.
Officials with the Department of Land and Natural Resources viewed the video and want to remind residents and visitors the importance keeping a respectable distance.
"When you're dealing with 50 ton animals, it always makes sense to give them as much room as you can," said DLNR chair William Aila. "You should give humpback whales in Hawai'i the widest berth possible. The law is you must stay 100 yards away from them, if at all possible. Sometimes, unintentionally, the whale will approach a boat but that's the vessel owner's responsibility because they have the ability to turn their boat around. They have the ability to move in another direction and void the whale. If at all possible, avoid close proximity to these magnificent creatures."