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Old 14-06-2012, 06:22   #1
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Whale collision off Mexico

Sacramento man rescued from sinking sailboat off coast of Mexico - The Washington Post

SAN FRANCISCO — A 66-year-old man was rescued early Wednesday after his sailboat was hit by a whale and began sinking off the coast of Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Max Young of Sacramento, Calif., was sailing alone late Tuesday about 40 miles west of La Playa, Mexico when his 50-foot boat was struck by the whale, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela Boehland.
The impact from the collision knocked out sailboat’s steering and started flooding it, Boehland said.
Young, described by the Coast Guard as a “seasoned sailor,” activated an emergency beacon that was picked up by the Coast Guard in its Alameda, Calif. command center. Officials there then pinpointed the sailboat’s position and directed a merchant ship, which was about 60 miles away, to the sinking craft.
When the ship arrived around 4 a.m. Wednesday, Young was able to scramble off his boat by a rope ladder thrown down by the crew of the merchant ship. He was unharmed.
“This case is one of those success stories,” Boehland said. “A man went out prepared, the worst happened to him and he was able to respond,” she said.
Young was en route to Panama on the ship and planned to return to Sacramento, officials said.
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Old 14-06-2012, 13:29   #2
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

Although he left his boat for the rescue ship, I wonder if he had a life raft. I also wonder if it was a spade rudder and not a modified or full keel.
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Old 14-06-2012, 15:05   #3
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

I had a scary close encounter with a humpback just off Moreton Islan a few years ago. I can still see the hairs on the barnacles on his chin as he landed a boat length away. I posted a question about the black colour antifoul paint then.

Good luck to the poor bloke. Great news he is safe.
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:54   #4
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

This is curious as it's not the first time a whale has sunk a cruising boat. Is it time to hang an underwater speaker playing Beethoven? Or what's whale speak for give way?
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:35   #5
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

Another good reason for having watertight transverse bulkheads.
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:57   #6
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

getting too common ............... time to start hunting whales more?
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Old 18-06-2012, 12:47   #7
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

It was a Perry 47. soon as I heard the whale took out a rudder, I thought it was a Hunter.
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Old 18-06-2012, 13:02   #8
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

Two years ago a boat in the Ba Ha was taken out by a whale. I wonder if it is just one with a lot of attitude.
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Old 18-06-2012, 13:31   #9
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

Our first whale encounter started five days after we first started cruising, about 35 miles off Monterey California. A whale decided to play with my boat. It made some really deep scratches in the bottom paint and several down into the gel coat.

Overall, whale strikes are getting more and more common, especially in Mexico.

We just left Mexico in February after crusing there for 18 months. During that time several boats had close encounters, including us, when a whale crossed my bow at about 25 yards while I was entering a small bay. Another boat was rammed several times by a whale, which bent his rudder.

As Newt mentioned, the boat that was sunk in the 2009 Baja Ha-Ha was a J-120 heading down wind at about 12 knots. They started surfing a wave when a whale surfaced to breath. They were unable to avoid the collision and ran over the whale, which caused the rudder to be pulled aft like a can opener. The crew was unable to damage control or keep ahead of the de-watering. They subsequently abandon the vessel and were later rescued by the USCG. The vessel sank after about 30 minutes.

Mexico is a winter home to the Alaskan Humpbacks and their behavior maybe related to defending their off-spring or curiousity... Anyway it appears that with the frequency of whale strikes and near misses, either there are more sailboats or more whales...
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Old 18-06-2012, 13:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas
getting too common ............... time to start hunting whales more?
Convince Paul Prudhomme to publish a "blackened humpback" recipe, and your problem is solved.
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Old 18-06-2012, 15:00   #11
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

Yeah I missed a humpback by one boat length last week North of SF about 110 nm offshore. Scary when you see how big they are and with little to no warning.
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Old 18-06-2012, 15:05   #12
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Our first whale encounter started five days after we first started cruising, about 35 miles off Monterey California. A whale decided to play with my boat. It made some really deep scratches in the bottom paint and several down into the gel coat.
Had a similar experience in that same spot on my way to Still water Cove from Santa Cruz around 1998. Right out in front of Monterey, a whale began to parallel me on my starboard side just maybe 3 feet from my hull while on a port tack. He/She turned on their side and I could see it's eye and of course it could see me. Humbling experience.
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Old 21-06-2012, 00:42   #13
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Re: Whale collision off Mexico

I was crewing for my brother aboard his boat and we had just pulled out of Bahia Asuncion, on our way from La Paz, BCS to San Diego. It was about 0400 as we rounded Isla Asuncion and we could hear the Coast Guard coordinating the rescue of Reflections, the Perry 47 that hit the whale. We offered our assistance but as we were about 60nm north of Reflections and there was the freighter Ocean Virgo only about an hour-and-a-half away, the Coast Guard thanked us but sent us on our way. We didn't hear why Reflections was going down.

As we were just south of San Quintin, we came across many pods of large whales, which we believed to be fin whales - they were clearly not humpbacks or California Grays as they had a small, almost dolphin-like dorsal fin on their backs. For a while we thought they could have been Blue whales but Blues typically travel by themselves or in pairs - the pods that we saw were easily 10-12 whales. Also, these whales were significantly larger than my brother's 45' boat. We must have been right on their migration path as we sailed through one pod after another which we found wonderful until we later discovered that Reflections had been sunk by a whale. At that point we suddenly found the whales to be more intimidating and we changed to a course that put us closer to shore.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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