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July 21, 2010

Whale breaches onto yacht

The whale as it breaches onto the yacht. Photo courtesy of the Portfolio Travel blog.

The whale as it breaches onto the yacht. Photo courtesy of the Portfolio Travel blog

Sailors Ralph Mothes and Paloma Werner, from the Cape Town Sailing Academy, got the fright of their lives when a southern right whale breached onto their yacht over the weekend.

They were sailing in the Cape Town harbour when a southern right whale breached about 100 metres from their boat. The whale – which was between 11- and 14-metres long – then resurfaced and breached again, this time about 10 metres from their yacht. Before they knew it, the whale was breaching again and it landed right onto their yacht.

As they were sailing and had no engine on board, they were unable to take evasive action. Luckily, neither Mothes nor Werner were hurt and the whale appeared unharmed, but the Intrepid yacht suffered severe damage.

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The damaged yacht. Photo courtesy of the Portfolio Travel blog

“Thank God we had a steel yacht. If it had been fibreglass we would’ve been history,” Werner told News24.com.

She also told www.iol.co.za “We thought the whale was going to go under the boat and come up on the other side. We thought it would see us.”

“We are lucky to be alive.”

As a result of the accident, the Cape Town Sailing Academy will not be operating for six weeks while the Intrepid is repaired.

 
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