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Cetacea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 05:54 PM
Original message
Not Tony Haywards boat
Edited on Wed Jul-21-10 05:57 PM by Cetacea



The southern right whale pictured crashing into the couple's boat, off the Cape Town coast. Photograph: Universal News And Sport

A couple whose yacht was heavily damaged when a 40-tonne whale jumped onto it face questioning as part of an investigation into whether the creature was being harassed.

Pictures of Sunday's incident appear to show the southern right whale leaping out of the water to crash into the 10m yacht, off the South African coast near Cape Town.

"It really was quite incredible but very scary," said Palomo Werner who was out sailing with her partner Ralph Mothes.

Later pictures appeared to show a wrecked mast and other damage left by the whale.

"There were bits of skin and blubber left behind, and the mast was wrecked. It bought down the rigging too," said Werner.

Marine protection officials told South Africa's Independent Online that an investigation had been launched into claims that whale was being tormented by boats in the area.

Alan Boyd, manager for marine protection and endangered species at South Africa's environment department, said: "We are aware of the statements that indicate that a person was deliberately sailing towards the whale and harassing it. It's good enough (reason) to investigate."

The department confirmed to the Guardian that it has launched an inquiry. "We we are already in possession of an incident report from from one of the witnesses," a spokesman said.

He added: "We are going to request that the skipper of the vessel submit a report."

Under laws aimed at protecting whales, sailors in South African waters must stay 300m away from them and move away if they approach.

Witnesses claimed that an inflatable raft and a yacht had been harassing a whale before the incident.

Speaking before the announcement of the investigation, Werner said: "We'd spotted it about 100 metres away and thought that was the end of it. Then suddenly it was right up beside us.

"I assumed it would go underneath the boat but instead it sprang out of the sea. We were very lucky to get through it, as the sheer weight of the thing was huge."

Mothes and Werner, who are experienced sailors and run the Cape Town Sailing Academy, are yet to comment on the investigation.
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Smashcut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Said the whale (in an English accent),
"Oh, terribly sorry. I saw a malevolent lump on your vessel and was certain Tony Hayward was aboard."
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Cetacea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. "So sorry. Must be the laundry detergent".
I don't normally act like this.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. 'Rats! I missed.'
A shame, indeed. Tony's lucky he's not in irons.

Is the photo of the incident?

If so, is it undoctored?
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Cetacea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I saw some post-crash photos of a "totalled" boat.
I don't believe that the photo supplied is of the actual crash.
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