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Copyright vEsti24
May 16 2012
Snagged Whale Nearly Swamps Boat PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 May 2012

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            An encounter last month between a fishing vessel and a whale in Uyak Bay ended badly for the whale. Apparently a 60-foot Fin whale feeding in the bay on the morning of April 17 wound up hooking its baleen on the anchor line of the 48-foot boat and couldn't get loose.

            Marine Mammal specialist Kate Wynne with the University of Alaska Marine Advisory Program said the whale drowned, but the incident could have ended badly for the fishing boat and crew as well.

 

-- (Whale 1                  23 sec              "They were having breakfast ... over the bow for a few seconds.")

 

            As the whale tried to unhook itself, the boat's crew also worked to separate the two.

 

-- (Whale 2                  24 sec              "They had no control over it ... it came to the surface.")

 

            Wynne said the boat went back to retrieve its anchor and cable, but were unable to at the time because it was still wrapped too tightly around the whale and will have to wait until it decomposes even more.

            She said the boat's skipper, who she declined to identify, did everything right in handling the incident with the protected marine mammal:

 

-- (Whale 3                  20 sec              "He was just as much of a victim ... just wasn't possible.")

 

            Wynne, who is one of the few people in Alaska certified to free stranded or entangled whales, said this was a very unusual incident:

 

-- (Whale 4                  22 sec              "I've never heard of a whale ... network has heard of this before.")

 

            She said the whale is near to shore, and will likely become a meal for area bears.

 

 

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