Whale unhurt after landing on boat in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH, Mass. — A whale that breached and landed on a boat off Plymouth Sunday was not injured in the encounter, Massachusetts Environmental Police say.

The six people on board the boat, who were fishing at the time, were unhurt as well.

The boat sustained some damage but was able to return to the dock on its own. Environmental Police interviewed the passengers and are investigating the incident.

Environmental officials have warned boaters to stay at least 100 yards away from whales whenever possible.

They emphasized the importance of doing this off Plymouth, where three juvenile whales have been feeding for at least a week.

“These young whales are engaged in physically active feeding behavior that is very unpredictable, while feeding in a shallow area on menhaden (or “pogies”), a rich and highly abundant schooling forage fish that also attracts striped bass,” Massachusetts Environmental Police said Monday.

This puts both whales and humans at risk, as a collision with a boat or personal watercraft can damage to the vessel, physically injure the whale or cause potential serious injury or death to the humans involved.

The whales may become more unpredictable due to their young age and the presence of encroaching vessels in shallow water, police said.

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