USS Coronado Had Near Miss With Gray Whales En Route To San Diego (Video)
Friday, March 14, 2014
The USS Coronado almost collided with a pod of gray whales off the coast of Orange County as the ship was heading to its new homeport of San Diego earlier this week.
Captain Todd Mansur of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching told the Orange County Register he was tailing a group of gray whales on Sunday when he realized the USS Coronado was getting too close for comfort to the pod:
"All of a sudden, I realized they were really close and were heading right for the whales in front of us."
Mansur said he immediately communicated to the USS Coronado of its proximity to the whales, and the ship took action, stopping in its tracks:
"[S]eeing a ship that big stop on a dime was impressive.
“They couldn't have been more courteous on the radio, or in their actions.”
The Navy responded in a statement to KABC-TV, saying the USS Coronado was in control of its actions at all times:
"The ship followed proper protocol in accordance with Navy standard operating procedures when marine mammals are in vicinity of the ship.
"The Navy cares about the environment and marine mammals and is committed to protecting marine life by using protective measures, working with regulatory agencies, and better understanding marine mammals through research."
Still, Mansur said in his almost forty years of running whale watching tours, he'd never seen a Navy ship get so close to a whale pod.