Whale hits boat, boat takes on water. Man is in the boat. Our man. Chances are, he’s going to need a bigger boat. All apologies to Steven Spielberg.
That was an impossibly lame joke, I know, but it was the first thing that popped into my head upon reading about veteran sailor Max Young’s close encounter with a large whale. According to the Associated Press, Young, 67, was about 40 miles off the coast of Mexico when the incident took place. In addition to knocking out the sailboat’s steering, the collision also caused the boat to take on water. Young attempted to plug the hole by stuffing a mattress into the opening, though it was pretty clear that nothing was going to prevent the vessel from sinking.
After alerting the Coast Guard to his perilous predicament, a merchant ship, which was about 60 miles from Young’s location, embarked on an impromptu rescue mission.
“His EPIRB delivered an exact position to us, contact information that allowed us to quickly discern the sail plan of and number of persons on the vessel, and really took a lot of the search out of the search and rescue,” Coast Guard Lt. Charles Kelly explained.
Fortunately for Young, the merchant ship arrived before the poor guy found himself submerged in the dangerous oceanic waters. His wife, Debra Young, told the Associated Press that she’s been able to speak with her husband since the accident. Presently, he isn’t expected to certain home to Sacramento until sometime next week.