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Author Topic: Dead whale stuck on cruise ship  (Read 3272 times)
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« on: July 26, 2009, 09:07:16 am »

Courtesy of News.com.au @ http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25837203-23109,00.html

Dead whale stuck on cruise ship

From correspondents in Vancouver, Canada

July 26, 2009 11:17am

 A CRUISE ship has arrived at the Port of Vancouver with a dead whale lodged in its bow.

The Princess Cruise Lines' Sapphire Princess was docked at the Canada Place terminal on Saturday with the whale still stuck to it.

The ship arrived on Saturday morning on its return from the Alaska run with the whale firmly wedged in the bulbous bow, the Vancouver Sun reported on its website. See photos of the whale here.

The whale's fin and part of its back was protruding from the water.

Lisa Spaven, from the the BC Marine Mammal Response Network, told the Sun it appeared to be a fin whale, a threatened species in Canada.

She estimated the whale was about 20 metres long.

Ms Spaven said the ship's captain wasn't aware of the whale until the ship docked at Canada Place.

It wasn't immediately known when the collision occurred, and Spaven said an autopsy was needed to determine if the ship had struck the whale while it was alive or if the whale had been floating dead at sea.

"Vessel strikes are a very real threat to fin whales," Ms Spaven told the Sun.

She said cruise ships had predetermined shipping lanes but such lanes could not accommodate whale migrating paths since the paths changed year by year due to food supply.

Some photographs here - http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090725/BC_Whale_090725/20090725?hub=Canada

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Allan Cameron
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009, 12:40:02 pm »

Not nice to hear, but you've got to wonder, what are the odds? So much ocean to go around, and for this to happen must be less than one in a million.

Allan
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They say that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. :-)
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 02:30:55 pm »

Hi Allan

I think you be surprised at the number of whales and other sea mammals that do get hit by vessels.

Evidently more Whales are killed in ship collisions world wide than they are from hunting!

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Andrew Van Atta
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2009, 03:09:58 pm »

I feel sorry for the drydock workers who will have to remove that thing.  There is NOTHING that smells worse than a few tons of rotting whale meat!
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Allan Cameron
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2009, 03:21:50 pm »

Yes, I've heard of many hits even around here, but for the whale to get stuck like that is quite phenomenal.

Best wishes
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They say that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. :-)
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2009, 03:23:32 pm »

Luckily, since it died on the cruise, it only had to pay half price.
 :-)
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2009, 03:30:34 pm »

Hi Tomas

Oh dear, not in the top 10 of best taste jokes - still made me smile though  :-)

Allan - yes, very unusual I would have thought for the dead whale to have become 'attached' to the bow like that - obviously angle and velocity are the factors.

Andrew - the Whale would still have been fresh - cold sea water would have kept it fine - now that it is on land it will quickly deteriorate!

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Morten
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2009, 04:25:28 pm »

I've heard of it happen a few times with different vessels. I worked with a chief officer who had experienced it and had quite a few pictures of it. They didn't realize that they'd caught a rather large whale until a few days after it had happened. And they only realized it because they'd lost almost 2 kn of their water speed (on a 350 m container vessel!!!) and couldn't figure out why!
But the removal procedure is pretty straight forward (though I'm not sure they Sapphire will be allowed to do it inside Vancouver port limits). Simply go astern for a few seconds and the whale will be washed off the bulbous bow.

And whale strikes are actually happens very often! In the waters off Long Beach / Los Angeles, there are speed restrictions to reduce the risk of hitting the whales for large ships. As far as I remember, the restrictions aren't mandatory, but there is a large economical bonus in the port fees if you keep it below 12 kn. This is apparently both better for the "fish" and the environment.

I've also tried being contacted by a small whale spotting boat (didn't know they even had a radio on those) on our way in to Vancouver who was frantically trying to convince us to stop as we were heading straight for a whale colony... I understand the poor womans pain, but she didn't quite understand that a 320 m container vessel isn't exactly a speed boat and that we can't just stop the ship on a dime - so the pilot gave her a rather rude answer and he then proceeded to plow right through the area without reducing (which we could have done)...
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Brian Cawkwell
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2009, 07:58:06 pm »

http://www.canada.com/travel/Cruise+ship+impales+whale+docks+Vancouver/1829102/story.html
They has already been a diving sorting the whale out.
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