Whales get close to coastguard operations

WHALES GET CLOSE: Humpbacks invited themselves to coastguard rescue operations in the past week.
WHALES GET CLOSE: Humpbacks invited themselves to coastguard rescue operations in the past week.

WITH the whale migration season in full swing, Coast Guard Yeppoon has been interrupted by whales again during the week.

On Thursday, a Marine Assist contributor in a 6.1m diesel boat with three people on board called from Flat Island, 33nm north of Rosslyn Bay Harbour, to request help due to a flat battery. Gormans Removals Rescue responded.

As the disabled boat was anchored close to rocks, it was decided to tow it into deep water before passing a battery pack across.

A pod of four whales on the surface interrupted the operation, with three passing underneath the tow line on one occasion.

Arthur Cleary reported he had never seen so many humpbacks in pods of up to six, as well as individuals, around Cape Manifold, Peak and Flat Islands.

"At one stage a humpback picked up the anchor line and dragged us a short distance until it freed itself and we re-anchored, fortunately 30m from Flat Island cliffs.”

On Tuesday, Coast Guard Keppel Sands received a call at 10.15am from a 5m open vessel with motor failure in the vicinity of Keppel Creek, at the northern end of Curtis Island.

CHSS Rescue left Keppel Sands with three crew members at 11am.

The disabled vessel was found and towed to Port Alma, arriving at 1.50pm. CHSS Rescue headed to Rosslyn Bay Harbour to re-fuel, returning to Keppel Sands the next day.

Topics:  coastguard humpbacks rescue whales

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