Whale watching tour boat strikes humpback off British Columbia coast

By The Canadian Press
August 9, 2017 - 5:13am

VICTORIA — A whale watching boat travelling at speed off the coast of B.C. struck a humpback that was surfacing for air on Monday.

A spokesman with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria says an inshore rescue boat was sent out to assist the tour boat after it reported the run-in with the whale near the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.

Two passengers on the tour boat were reported to be injured and an ambulance was sent to meet them at Ogden Point.

Ben Duthie with the Prince of Whales Whale Watching company, which operates the tour boat, says the men’s injuries were minor.

He says to the best of the his knowledge, the whale was not harmed beyond what he described as a “minor strike.”

Duthie says the incident was a first in the company’s 22 years of operation and could have happened to any other vessel travelling in the area.

“This is extremely uncommon,” he said. “We believe it to be an absolute freak accident.”

(CKWX, The Canadian Press)

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