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Whale Slams Sailboat off Palos Verdes

After the whale struck it, the boat was towed to King Harbor in Redondo Beach.

The collision with the whale damaged the 31-foot sailboat, scraping off the paint at the bottom and cracking the hull. Photo credit Scott Thomas / Courtesy Pete Thomas Outdoors.
The collision with the whale damaged the 31-foot sailboat, scraping off the paint at the bottom and cracking the hull. Photo credit Scott Thomas / Courtesy Pete Thomas Outdoors.
A whale struck a 31-foot sailboat about 2 miles off the Palos Verdes Peninsula early Monday afternoon, Pete Thomas of Pete Thomas Outdoors reported Tuesday.


"We were just sitting there, not moving, and all of a sudden there was a great big crash," Ian Jory told Thomas. "It lifted the left side of the boat 4 to 6 feet out of the water."

The two collisions—one possibly caused by the whale's tail, or fluke—damaged the boat, leaving cracks through which water started seeping, according to Thomas.

Los Angeles County Lifeguard and Redondo Beach Harbor Patrol boats responded, with one escorting Jory's boat back to King Harbor.

It was not clear what type of whale slammed into the sailboat, or why the creature surfaced when it did. The two largest species of whales—blue whales and fin whales—have both been recently spotted in the area.

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