WASHINGTON WOMAN INJURED IN WHALE INCIDENT

February 28, 2009, 8:10 PM HST · Updated March 2, 11:20 AM
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whalehit_01A visitor on a whale watch expedition was injured Friday when a humpback surfaced and struck the boat she was on. Maui Police Capt. Charles Hirata said the 61-year-old woman from Bremerton, Washington suffered minor injuries in a fall and was transported from Lahaina Harbor to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment.

The incident was reported at 1:25 p.m. aboard the Hokulani boat operated by the Center for Whale Studies. The pectoral fin of the male humpback reportedly slammed into the boat, causing the woman to fall. Hirata said the boat’s railing on the starboard side was smashed and thin pieces of tissue believed to be from the whale were found on the boat’s hull.

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The boat’s captain reported having a permit that allows him to be within close proximity to the whales.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009) (Photos Courtesy:  Maui Police Department, County of Maui)whalehit_02

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