Published On: Tue, Jun 19th, 2012

Whale Hits Boat in Northern California (Video)

Max Young, a man from Sacramento California, was sailing alone using his 50-foot boat about 40 miles off the western coast of Mexico when it was hit by a whale knocking out the sailboat’s steering and the vessel began taking on water late Tuesday.

In an effort to drain the water that was coming from the hole caused by the whale, Max Young stuffed a mattress into it, turned on four bilge pumps and was “trying to bail out water as fast as he could, because he didn’t know how long it would take to be rescued,” his wife, Debra Young, told The Associated Press. He also activated an emergency beacon, which alerted the US Coast Guard.

Whale Hits Boat in California

Lt. Charles Kelly, of the Coast Guard’s command center in Alameda, California, received the alert and immediately signalled a nearby merchant ship to tell them about the distressed vessel. By 4 a.m. Wednesday, Young was successfully rescued off his boat through a rope ladder thrown by the ship’s crew.

“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,” Lt. Charles Kelly said.

Debra Young, Max’s wife, said that his husband was initially unaware that the boat was taking on water. “He was steering the boat and trying to get it back on course. It took him a while to realize he didn’t have any steerage at all. It took him a bit longer to realize he was taking on water,” she said.

Young had been on the final leg of a trip from the East Coast to a marina in Emeryville when the whale hit his boat.

Below is the video from Associated Press:

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