Published May 11, 2018
An unidentified whale recently got into an accident with an Icelandic fishing boat in the south of Iceland, RÚV reports.
We are not sure whether the whale in question was trying to send a threatening message to all fishing boats sailing around Iceland, perhaps getting revenge after Icelandic company Hvalur hf. announced it will resume whaling this summer. It is however important to specify that the boat in question was not a whaler but belongs to a company which mostly fishes cod and catfish.
The two men aboard Hringur GK 18 had almost finished fishing around the area of Hafnir, on the Reykjanes peninsula, and were about to come back to the harbour when a whale swam under their boat and hit it vigorously. The men weren’t able to identify the animal, but it is thought to be either a humpback or a fin whale.
“We were sailing between two boats when we felt a blow and the ship was half-lifted in the air,” fisherman Einar Aðalsteinsson said. “Then when I looked back I saw a tail and small puddle of blood. Then the motor stopped working.”
Scared and shocked by the accident, the two men tried to set the ship in motion again and finally sailed back in a hurry. Later, they found out that the boat had been severely damaged, as both the propeller and the axle were broken.
“We also noticed that the device we use to locate fish had been torn from the boat,” Einar added. “When we managed to retrieve it we realised that it could have easily made a huge hole in the boat.” Luckily, however, only a small one was found on the bottom of the ship.
Although Einar has been sailing for fifteen years, this was the first time he got into an accident with a whale, but he’s nonetheless not surprised. The number of whales around the coasts of Iceland, he says, has in fact increased dramatically in the past year.