Mexican tour boat collides with whale injuring 4 people; no word on the whale

A group of tourists got a little too close for comfort with a humpback whale.

Mexican officials told the Associated Press Monday that four people were hurt when their sport-fishing boat collided with a humpback whale off the coast of Baja California. The boat’s captain and three tourists suffered a range of injuries – minor to more serious. They were rescued by the Mexican navy. Officials couldn’t say if the whale was harmed, but the incident highlights a problem that’s on the rise all over the whale-watching world.

Humpback whales have been the victims of increasing collisions with smaller-sized vessels around Hawaii, according to a recent report in the International Science Times.

The latest incident occurred in an area known as Cabo Falso and was outside Mexico’s designated area for whale-watching. But January is a busy time for spotting the giants of the sea and this year, there has been a boom in births, AP reported.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported this week a surge in gray whales off the southern California coast heading toward Baja California. Twice as many of the creatures were spotted migrating south this year compared with last year, the newspaper said, which has prompted experts to warn about the potential for an increase in tour boats crashing into whales.

Which is to say, back off a bit people.

h/t Vancouver Sun Photo National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  

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