Superferry hits whale?

SUBHEAD: The Hawaii Superferry Alakai reported to have struck whale UPDATE ON INCIDENT

By Brad Parsons on 21 January 2009 in HISuperFerry.blogspot - 

Image above: The shallow depths of Penguin Banks from Molokai SW tip at right

Got a courtesy ‘official’ call. There was a NMFS enforcement officer on the boat (as luck would have it). HSF did maneuver to miss. The maneuver was apparently successful. However, there are some passengers who have the impression a collision occurred. This is likely the result of a errant wave slapping between the two hulls as they made their quick turn.
Or perhaps not. NMFS is interviewing passengers to make sure no one actually saw a strike vs ‘felt’ a strike. Incident is under investigation, but at this point a strike looks unlikely.

On another note, apparently HSF ITPermit is slowly moving forward. NMFS is to determine the allowing annual take number. Do date certain as to final issuance or decision, but will likely be after (fake) EIS is completed.

Moreover, the vessel was only dealing with 7 - 8 ft. open ocean waves at the time and location of the incident. See here for those conditions and here. The vessel has had difficulty with deck-slamming in vertical movement on waves larger than this, but not significantly with lateral movement in smaller waves. Lateral movement is not likely to make the deck-slamming noise. Also, situations like this at this time of year would likely involve a pod and not just one specimen. To affirm these types of situations, it will be necessary for passengers to take pictures if at all possible, although this will be hard to do as there is a blind spot 50 to 100 yards off in all directions for passengers and from the center of the bridge. As a result, on close approach, even the bridge cannot be certain of contact of not.

Rules from EO 07-10:

6. The company shall agree that any vessel's Master shall document and report any collision or whale approach less than 100 meters from the vessel, that in the event of a collision, the company shall document observable damage or injury to the whale and, if safe and possible, remain on scene with the whale until rescue response arrives, and within twenty-four hours of any whale collision, provide a detailed written report of the collision to the Director of Transportation and the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

earlier email forwarded by Brad Pasrons on 21 January 2009 at 8:40am

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 07:54:26 -1000 > Subject: HSF hits whale? > Today! > 7:25- 7:30 likely off Penguin Banks. > Ship comes to screaching halt, then resumes travel. > Passenger calls directly to report the strike. > Feds alerted. > stand by for more details...

See also:
Island Breath: Has Superferry struck things? 1/19/09
Island Breath: Navy to kill Pacific whales 1/12/09
Island Breath: Act 2 Draft EIS delayed 11/3/08


1 comment :

Mauibrad said...


The "Update on Incident" and "Original Report of Incident" originated from another source. My additions were on the item #6 requirement in EO 07-10 and the paragraph about the 7 to 8 ft. wave heights encountered and about deck-slamming from vertical movement.

Aloha, Brad

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