Huge manatee ‘hugs’ Florida woman, flips her out of water in astonishing underwater footage

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Because the proprietor of an airboat tour firm, Mandy Egner has had her justifiable share of shut encounters with sea creatures — each small and huge. However throughout a snorkeling tour in Crystal River over the weekend, the Florida girl stated she had a “as soon as in a lifetime expertise” she’ll always remember.

Whereas swimming amongst a sea of manatees along with her cousin on Friday, Egner was approached by a curious, slow-moving sea cow.

“She approached us and was very . We might again as much as give her area and he or she would come proper again to us,” Egner, of Beverly Hills, defined to Fox Information on Monday. “When she approached me … I saved my fingers as much as let her test me out on her phrases.”

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Egner stated she was cautious to observe the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee’s (FWC) viewing pointers, which encourage swimmers to by no means contact or pursue manatees that are protected underneath federal regulation.

“If the positioning you go to permits in-water actions close to manatees, use snorkel gear and float on the floor of the water to passively observe manatees,” the FWC states on its web site.

With a purpose to adjust to these guidelines, Egner stated she saved her fingers up and let the manatee come to her. After about 20 minutes, the manatee approached and “hugged” Egner earlier than flipping her out of the water.

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“It was cool when she hugged me however this was simply wonderful. I by no means thought I might be flipped out of the water by the manatee,” she stated.

The Florida girl could not imagine what was taking place.

“It was undoubtedly an unforgettable expertise,” Egner recalled, including that she’s by no means encountered an interplay fairly like this.

Egner admitted she was barely uneasy — given the manatee’s dimension.

“At one level we had been in about 5 toes of water and as she was rolling I might really feel myself being taken underneath. I may need had a second of nerves then however remembered she is only a mild large with no unhealthy intentions,” Egner stated.

The wild interplay was captured by an underwater digital camera. Egner posted the footage on her Fb web page Friday afternoon, receiving a number of feedback from stunned locals.

“What an expertise,” one Fb person commented.

“That’s one heck of an expertise! Glad you bought manatee hugs!!!” one other exclaimed.

“That’s so superior,” a 3rd added.

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