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

People’s Party of Canada plan to have a candidate in the North Island-Powell River riding

Elections Canada formally recognized the North Island—Powell River PPC Association

NVIATS takes over NIEFS space in Thunderbird Mall

“We were approached by NIEFS, they’re going to be downsizing”

Port Hardy Reigns compete in Nanaimo at Island Championships

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity for our youth in Port Hardy”

Derina Harvey Band – Heartfelt, Energetic, Celtic rock comes to Port Hardy

Front-woman Derina Harvey leads this Celtic-rock act, who offer an authentic east-coast experience.

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

Easter bombings a response to New Zealand attacks, says Sri Lanka minister

The Islamic State group asserted it was responsible for the nine bombings

Busy Tuesday for BC Ferries passengers

First sailings to and from Swartz Bay sold out

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

VIDEO Sports Talk with Tyson: Revisiting the Tier 3 Bantam Championships

“I think the entire experience was probably my favourite I’ve ever had as a journalist.”

Most Read