Humpback In Bay Nearly Struck By Sailboat's Dangerous Move

Carrie Hodousek
September 10, 2019 - 1:37 pm
A video shared by San Francisco Whale Tours shows a sailboat that nearly struck a humpback whale in the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco Whale Tours

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Naturalists are warning boaters to be more aware of their surroundings after a sailboat nearly collided with a humpback whale in the San Francisco Bay this weekend. 

The sailboat seen in the video released by the San Francisco Whale Tours shows a sailboat the failed to follow requirements for safely navigating after a whale has been spotted, according to naturalist Michael Pierson. 

The sailboat was operated dangerously, Pierson said. Rules require boats to come to a stop when a whale is spotted 200 feet away.

For reasons that are unknown, the boater in the video didn't do that. Instead, the vessel makes a sharp turn as the whale dives under the waves.

"They weren't really paying attention to their surroundings and seeing those spouts," Pierson said. "The animal obviously reacted as well doing the very sudden dive right in front of the boat, trying to dive out of the way of this oncoming vessel."

This particular whale was feeding underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

Because whale sightings are becoming increasingly common in the Bay, Pierson is encouraging boaters to slow down and be watchful.