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Old 07-07-2013, 12:27 AM   #1
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Whale meets Boardrider

A group of surfboard riders 100 meters off Sydney`s famous Bondi Beach were surprised today by a 15 meter whale surfacing under them. One was knocked unconscious by a tail flick and required medical evacuation.
The east coast of Australia is pretty much a whale highway this time of year, surprising this is the first such event. A mandatory "keep clear" distance for boats, board riders and swimmers is in force, but whales can`t read. Boat skippers usually exercise great care, for mutual safety reasons.
Meanwhile wildlife authorities are shepherding a confused 10 meter southern right whale out of an inland lake where it has been for a week.
Australia is currently litigating in the Hague to end Japan`s so called "scientific whaling" in Antarctic waters.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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Yeah pissed myself laughing when I saw this on the news tonight lol

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Old 07-07-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
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The board riders may have been getting too close to a female and calf. It seems from reports I've heard males are getting more protective recently. With the help of others we determined that probably was the cause of our Humpback whale collision last spring. He rose up crossways right in front of us. We stopped (by crashing into him) in a distance that was probably the thickness of whale blubber and a tad more. Too exciting for me. And I'm sure glad the Willard was up to the event structurally. We didn't get hurt either. Had about a one second warning seeing that huge whaleback rise up out of the water.

Before that I'd always assumed the whales always avoided boats and could tell exactly where they were by sound. So in the vicinity of whales I never turned my engine off.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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The surfer, a hospital emergency medico, was interviewed on news last night, sounding fine if a little surprised.
The whale was a seriously large 15M " southern right". When whales were hunted here, it was the "right", ie correct, whale to pursue, doubtless the whale thought otherwise. The tail slap causing injury was the whale resuming its travel north, not a malign act.
Eric,I had not previously read of your whale collision, glad it ended well for all. Whale traffic is up 25% this year, increasing the risk of collision, around 2000 are expected to pass by. They transit north to give birth, mate, and return south to the Antarctic. Each year a few actually enter Sydney harbour.
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