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

Collective agreement met between UFCW 1518 and IGA

Membership voted strongly in favour of the collective agreement, which came days after negotiations.

Safety board issues letters over rail crash that killed three workers in Woss

The safety board conducted the investigation at the request of the Transportation Ministry

SD85’s spring break schedule may change to two-weeks but would overlap Easter

“This makes absolutely no sense to me,” Barrett stated in a letter to school trustees.

UPDATE: Police say false bomb threat came from computer and printer in the school

“The threat was a hoax by a student,” said Port McNeill RCMP.

Winds of up to 90 km/hr predicted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read