Sailboat collided with whale during Marblehead to Halifax race

July 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM
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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, July 17 (UPI) -- A Canadian skipper said his crew feared they had run aground until they realized their sailboat had collided with a whale.

Skipper James Muldoon of the 78-foot Donnybrook yacht said he and his crew were traveling from Massachusetts to Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of the 416-mile Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race when the vessel collided with a whale in the middle of the night, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

"I was tossed out of bed, and everybody woke up, believe me," he said.

He said crew members initially thought they had run aground.

"They noted the position, they got ready to get on the radio in case we had a need. We had everybody pulling up the floorboards to see if we were taking on water," Muldoon said.

However, the culprit soon revealed itself.

"About the time that we were trying to figure out what happened, a whale's tail, or fin, came up next to the boat and put its tail up in the air and flapped it a couple times and swam off," he said.

Muldoon said it was too dark to identify the species of the whale.

The Donnybrook was able to finish the race and took second place. The vessel is currently undergoing repairs in Rhode Island, the skipper said.

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