Whale collision injures boater

Suspected humpback collision leaves boater with broken jaw.

A Campbell River man suffered a broken jaw and lost teeth after his fiberglass boat collided with a whale, believed to be a humpback, last Wednesday off the east coast of North Vancouver Island.

Ray Boyd underwent reconstructive surgery following the incident, which occurred on windy, choppy seas near the mouth of Eve River. The Grady White boat was left with a cracked hull from the impact.

Staff from the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) went out in an attempt to find the whale but were unsuccessful.

Marine researcher Jackie Hildering said the incident pointed out the importance of educating the public on awareness of the unpredictability of whale encounters and the need for awareness.

“Baleen whales surface unpredictably, much different from how boat operators are conditioned to expect as their experience is most often with killer whales,” Hildering said. “Humpbacks are new back to the coast and are in unpredictable locations.”

It appears Boyd had no idea there was a whale in the vicinity until it breached directly in front of his boat. The wind and whitecaps may have masked the distinctive mist of its blowing.

“If I’d have even seen a sign a whale was there I would have slowed down and turned off-course,” Boyd said in an interview last week with CTV News.

The report of the incident was relayed to Paul Cottrell, coordinator of the DFO’s Marine Mammal Response Network, said Hildering, who emphasized boaters should report any whale strike or near-miss to the MMRN’s incident reporting hotline at 1-800-465-4336. She said all information reported can be used to learn more about behavioural patterns, of both whales and boaters, and assist in prevention of future incidents.

“We’re even more motivated now to create awareness of how baleen whales can unpredictably surface,” said Hildering. “For human safety’s sake as well as the whales’ sake.”

 

 

Just Posted

North Island Rising: Minority Rules – Women & Politics

Male politicians continue to out number female politicians in the North Island.

North Island Concert Society reports on a successful season

It was a successful season for the NICS in terms of increased attendance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The Merry Widow Mountain trail

“Early morning light is best for photos of the face of the mountain”

Kwakwaka’wakw families march in Port Hardy in honour of MMIWG

Red dresses lined Market Street in honour of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

20th Anniversary of Family Fishing Weekend coming to North Island

Choice of 14 events held on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read