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Nature documentary filmmaker Tom Mustill’s survival tale of a humpback whale comes to Nidderdale courtesy of The Wildish Club

Pictured: Tom Mustill
Pictured: Tom Mustill

The evening will take place on Friday, December 29, at St Cuthbert’s School in Pateley Bridge, and welcomes all ages.

A New York bestseller 2022, How to speak Whale describes Mr Mustill’s life-threatening encounter with a 30-ton humpback whale while kayaking which nearly killed him.

A video clip of the event was taken by a nearby tourist which went viral in 2015.

Pictured: The 30-ton Humpback Whale which crushed Tom Mustill and friend whilst kayaking back in 2015.
Pictured: The 30-ton Humpback Whale which crushed Tom Mustill and friend whilst kayaking back in 2015.

The experience led the biologist and filmmaker to investigate how we can protect the living world by understanding the complex cultures of these giant mammals.

Scientists then used AI to discover who the whale was, reconstructed its life story and demonstrated that the whale was not actually trying to harm him.

The Wildish Club, which prides itself on socially integrating people into the rural Nidderdale community, frequently holds events celebrating the Dales and all things nature.

On meeting Mr Mustill, the club managed to pull in the Dales grandson who has pioneered the investigation into the world of animal communication.

Pictured: Tom Mustill in action as a nature documentary filmmaker.
Pictured: Tom Mustill in action as a nature documentary filmmaker.

Mr Mustill has collaborated with science and nature personalities including Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, Stephen Fry and George Monbiot.

He is also the founder of Gripping Films, a production company specialising in films aimed at driving social change.

Back in 2009, he started out as a researcher in the BBC's wildlife unit, and went on to work on Channel 4’s nature documentary series – Inside Nature's Giants.

Oscar Boatfield, founder of The Wildish Club, said: “There was a viral video some years ago of a humpback whale falling on some kayakers. Incredibly, he was one of them, and both of them survived.

“He just happened to be a very successful documentary filmmaker which we at Wildish just happened to meet.

”He’s well known in the Dale, even the butchers had a picture of him when he was a kid.

“He’s done some truly incredible stuff and we wanted Nidderdale to hear about it.”

How to speak Whale can be read as a thriller, a biology classic or a campaign to save the natural world from human destruction.

The book also delves into the world of artificial intelligence which has changed our relationship with marine animals forever.

Mr Boatfield said: “After we got talking and met his wonderful family, he became a part of our community and loves Nidderdale.

“The Wildish Club community has grown massively over the last year.

“We have five more now around the country, but that’s another story.

READ MORE: IN PICTURES: The top 10 Autumn walks that showcase the stunning Yorkshire Dales at its finest, according to outdoor experts

"He has delivered this talk to huge audiences and environmental conferences.

“It absolutely mad that this event is going to be in Pateley Bridge.

"He's just the most wonderful, enthusiastic person you can imagine, which is inspiring.

“We’ve tried to keep this event reasonably priced, at only £12 a ticket.

“This event is just going to be phenomenal, I can’t stress it enough.”