Catamaran’s collision with whale off Geraldton ‘unavoidable’

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Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
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Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group's vessel Nashira escorted a catamaran back to Geraldton after it collided with a whale yesterday.
Camera IconGeraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group's vessel Nashira escorted a catamaran back to Geraldton after it collided with a whale yesterday. Credit: Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group

A damaged catamaran had to be escorted back to Geraldton after it collided with a whale while returning from the Abrolhos Islands yesterday.

The impact caused a crew member to “headbutt” a fibreglass bulkhead, causing a suspected broken nose and concussion, according to Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue communications officer Ian Beard.

Mr Beard said the accident, which happened about 3.20pm, was unavoidable.

“The whale surfaced in front of them, they didn’t have any time to stop and they ran into it,” he said.

“I’ve been here 10 years and it’s the first time I’ve heard of this happening.

“But it’s one of those things that’s almost inevitable this time of the year because there’s whales everywhere.”

Mr Beard said the whale, which he guessed to be a large humpback, was probably injured but had swam away by the time the rescue vessel arrived.

Two other people aboard the catamaran were not injured.

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