B.C. whale-watchers horrified after humpback nearly struck by speeding boat
VICTORIA — Jenefer Smalley and the 12 guests aboard her whale-watching boat held their collective breath as a speeding boater came within a few metres of hitting a humpback whale last month.
Smalley, who runs tours from Campbell River with Wild Waterways Adventures, had raised a special flag signalling that a whale was in the area, put out an emergency call on her marine radio and got everyone aboard to wave their arms.
But the boater kept accelerating toward the humpback.
At the last moment, the humpback — later identified as three-year-old Tutu — took a sudden dive and what looked like a sure collision was narrowly avoided.
“It was disrespectful and unacceptable — and a very scary moment for all of us,” Smalley said of the June 29 incident near Quadra Island. “The boater could have easily been killed at that speed and the whale killed or maimed.”