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Collisions at Sea (with sea animals and containers)

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by brian eiland, May 23, 2008.

  1. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    St Augustine, Fl and Thailand
    ...posted on another forum

    Sailboat hits whale in Artemis Transat! WHALE PROOF BOAT?

    The Open 60 sailboat Foncia hit a whale while sailing in the Artemis Transat. It severely damaged his daggerboard (see photo here:


    Has anybody else hit a whale, and caused damage to a boat? Anyway we can design to make a boat "whale proof?"

    I'm sure Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia, would have loved that added design feature.

    ...just saw this posting related to the now we have to worry about a lot of other collisions other than the huge rise in containers floating out there

    Sharks And Whales;excerpts from Elaine Bunting's blog:

    Talk about tales of the unexpected. Vincent Riou, who was rescued from his Open 60 PRB yesterday in the North Atlantic after the keel was badly damaged, says he collided with a basking shark and cut it in two.

    "I saw two portions emerge at the back of the boat," Riou commented, with forensic accuracy.

    I find myself craving more information. Did he cut in half crossways or lengthwise? What did the 'portions' look like?

    These boats are so fast they are increasingly sneaking up unawares on whales and sharks - there have been four collisions and at least 10 other whale sightings on the Artemis Transat.

    But that's not quite as amazing as the leading edge of a canting keel chopping a 40ft shark in half. You can't class these incidents as normal marine collisions any more; this is roadkill.

    A comment from Ginny Jones about the Transat:

    'The thought that an Open 60's keel cut a basking shark in half is truly tragic. They are the world's most gentle sharks -- you see them all along the west coast of Ireland and up in the Outer and Inner Hebrides, and the Scottish west coast. They are lazy, slow moving, and they just, well, they just bask on the surface. They are also endangered to a certain extent because they are so slow and lazy thus at risk from shipping. They are really interesting to see at sea, and pose little threat to anyone.

    'I really, really hope that it wasn't a basking shark (and I'd be surprised if one was 40 feet) although I wouldn't want it to be a whale or any other marine creature either.'

    Well, I agree with that. Hitting any marine mammal is not something any sailor wants to do either, and I don't mean for practical reasons, though that, too. But what to do?
  2. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Is Everything!
    We do a lot of sailing. Needless to say, this is obviously something that we are well aware of, and keep close at mind while sailing, however equally something that we never want to encounter.

    We've had one close call, and thankfully, while on watch, were able to quickly react and avoid an impact (we think it was a sea container), but the danger is always there.
  3. The Reverend

    The Reverend New Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    La Paz Mexico
    Whale Collision

    In the early nineties I was on a 75 Metre yacht heading for Marseille which struck a whale on a perfectly calm day.
    At the time most of the crew were in the mess celebrating the birthday of one of the stewardesses. Suddenly there was a huge crash and the yacht shuddered followed by another crash at the stablisers.
    I could see from the camera that the wash from the stern had changed colour the immediate assumption was that we had holed fuel tank.
    As an Engineer I went to my station to sound tanks and prepare pollution control etc.
    As there was no discernible damage I went outside to see what had happend, I was met by a horrible sight of a large whale quite clearly injured thrashing around on the surface surrounded by four or five others. There was a lots of blood in the area.
    We stood by for a while and eventually all the whales including the injured one disappeared.
    We dry docked the next day in Marseille and found no damage apart from a few scuff marks.
    As you can understand the whole incident was very upsetting for the crew, The watch keeper was very shocked -(there was no way he could of seen anything) and the girls were all very upset including one whose birthday had been ruined.