Fishermen terrified by waterspout tornado near their boat

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2qlun4wc39holuz/VRP27979.mp4?dl=0

Fishermen were terrified when they saw a large waterspout tornado forming near their boas.

Mark Anthony Hallig said they noticed the strange grey clouds while sailing off the coast of Bulan in Sorsorgon province, the Philippines on April 26.

Footage shows the elephant trunk shaped waterspout in the distance as it moved towards the group’s boat.

He said: ‘It lasted more than twenty minutes and then a whirlwind formed again and then heavy rain poured down. We were so scared because we had just started sailing when we saw it, as we work at night.'<

Waterspouts are intense columns of swirling tornado clouds that form over a body of water. They are most commonly found in subtropical areas and disappear shortly after they come into contact with land.

Scientists believe they are formed when pockets of warm air near the water surface rise suddenly. Cooler air is then sucked into the low pressure air, which picks up water and rises towards the clouds in a rotating motion.

Waterspouts are generally not dangerous but they can be a risk for aircraft flying through the area and for coral reefs and marine life in the water immediately below. Sailors should also try to avoid waterspouts – as the consequences of floating into one could be disastrous.