A kayak tour guide in Michigan says he’ll never paddle close to cliffs again after a massive piece of a cliff at Pictured Rocks National lakeshore crashed into Lake Superior, missing him and other kayakers by 50 feet.
“We thought we were at a safe distance. We got far away and then that came down,” said kayak guide Van Ouellette-Vallas.
Just before this sandstone cliff fell right in front of a group of kayakers, their guide says some smaller rocks had fallen.
He was paddling away, and then a massive section fell into Lake Superior.
"I never thought I'd see that, hear it, smell it. All the things. I was just blown away," said Vallas.
Two professional nature photographers captured the moment.
"We really thought there were kayakers underneath because it blew out so far," said photographer Jon Smithers.
"For this group to witness something this big, this geologic change in the face of the cliffs, and for us to be able to get a video of it at the same time from the drone, is just an incredible coincidence," said photographer Craig Blacklock.
An NMU Geology professor explained what happened isn’t often captured on video.
"The slope has been over-steepened by waves pounding away at the bottom of the slope. The slope becomes too steep. Gravity takes over and rock starts to fall," said Professor Richard Ziegler.
"A lot of people think these rocks are really stable and they're really safe, but as we can see, that's not the case at all. I'm definitely not getting under these rocks again, that's for sure," Vallas said.
There were 18 kayakers in the group, but no one was hurt.