30-foot whale smashes onto sailboat
The breaching whale left bits of blubber and a barnacle on the sailboat.
May 13th, 2011
10:01 AM ET

30-foot whale smashes onto sailboat

L'Orca lost out to L'Humpback on Thursday. Well, kinda.

L'Orca, a 38-foot sailboat out of Portland, Oregon, was participating in the Oregon International Offshore race in the Pacific Ocean on Thursday morning when a breaching humpback whale crashed down onto the vessel, crushing its mast and rigging and knocking it out of the race to Victoria, British Columbia.

The sailboat was about a half-hour into the race when the whale struck about 9:30 a.m.

"It looked to be a humpback whale, about 30 feet in length roughly. It hit the mast about halfway to three-quarters of the way up, and then proceeded to fall forward and on the starboard side of the boat. The mast came down as well as the forestay and all the rigging, and our tow rail and all our life lines on the starboard side of the boat were demolished, as well," crewmember Ryan Barnes, whose father owns L'Orca, said in a Coast Guard video.

The sailboat's crew was in the cockpit when the whale struck and no one was hurt, Barnes said.

A U.S. Coast Guard motor lifeboat escorted the L'Orca back to Astoria, Oregon.

While the L'Orca's crew of six didn't end the day with a victory, they did come home with a trophy of sorts - a dish full of bits of flesh the breaching leviathan left behind.

"I have some nice pieces of whale blubber as souvenirs and proof of what happened," Barnes said.

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Filed under: Animals • Oregon • U.S. • Whales
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Flagrante Delicto

    I'll bet that pirate, Paul Watson and his Friday Harbor radical whale watchers, want to put the owner and crew of L'Orca in jail for getting too close to the humpback.

    May 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. aj

    Wrong kind of whale! lol!

    May 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Yes

    That's a whale of a story!

    May 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. upyour!

    Moby dick anyone.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. beknoca

    I feel sorry for the whale. Humans suck

    May 14, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    If the stingrays and whales do it,the rocks will to. Until the criminals cease and desist.

    May 14, 2011 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    "Humpback humps L'orca and finishes that human race"

    May 14, 2011 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. NaturePhotog

    Kor, how silly to assign human emotions to a whale. Seriously. Think about that for a moment.

    Flagrante, as one who has spent some time now doing all I can to bring Watson and his band of merry misfits down (legally and non-violently) I can honestly say he is running scared. Copious amounts of information has been sent to the government imploring them to revoke the SSCS' tax-exempt status due to the fact they clearly (as evidenced on Whale Wars) use donations for terroristic activities.

    It will be a good day when 'Ole Paulie boy and his cronies are shut down for once and for all.

    Just thought you'd enjoy this news.

    *waves to 'Ole Paulie boy* 😉

    May 14, 2011 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. bezerkur

    whaling used to be a very dangerous career. it was nescessary for some nations long ago for themselves and as a trading product with other nations. but today all the products that were used from whales has now been replaced. reason for that was because vessels became bigger, faster and the methods of killing them more efficient which extincted some species and nearly some others. a international ban from whaling in antartic waters to preserve the ecological balance which is crucial for a healthy ocean. paul watson is a hero and others like him. there is always going to be a need to harvest animals i dont deny that. it just needs to be done in a humane way and responsible. and a note for you blood thirsty cowards who kill animals for fun. i dare you to come on to my property for your sick amusement in your silly little orange vests and chewin u'awls tobacky. i can promise you will be running off my property like a scared little girl and in need of changing your underwear if u'awls wear any..

    May 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bezerkur

    whaling used to be a very dangerous career. it was necessary for some nations long ago for themselves and as a trading product with other nations. but today all the products that were used from whales has now been replaced. reason for that was because vessels became bigger, faster and the methods of killing more efficient which led to extinctiof some species and nearly some others. a international ban from whaling in antartic waters to preserve the ecological balance which is crucial for a healthy ocean. paul watson is a hero and others like him. there is always going to be a need to harvest animals i dont deny that. it just needs to be done in a humane way and responsible. and a note for you blood thirsty cowards who kill animals for fun. i dare you to come on to my property for your sick amusement in your silly little orange vests and chewin u'awls tobacky. i can promise you will be running off my property like a scared little girl and in need of changing your underwear if u'awls wear any.

    May 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. voiceofreason

    with all due respect, and remember I'm sayin' with all due respect, that idea ain't worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin' it on.

    May 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cynthia rutherford

    The person who said US doesn't torture Pigs .Yuo should see what they do to all animals so people can eat the.I cried and got sick.I will not eat meat again if I can help it.The video is burned in my memory.And I only watched a few seconds of it.People are the worst animals .

    May 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    *Sigh*

    May 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. luctus

    So the article is about a whale crashing onto a sail boat. How did this become a forum to preach. Get off your high horse. The whale is probably fine and so are the people. Whales breach were they want too. So please stop preaching. The story has nothing to do with you or your shallow politics.

    May 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    "Blessed are my friends and Blessed are the friends of my friends."

    May 14, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
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