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Entangled Whale, Crew Overboard, Boat Grants

Watch for Entangled Whales

On July 10, members of the Coast Guard, NOAA Fisheries’ Large Whale Entanglement Response Team, the Marine Mammal Center and Cascadia Research Collective freed an adult whale. The humpback had become entangled in commercial crab gear and a weather buoy mooring approximately 40 miles off Point Reyes.

Cascadia Research Collective crewmembers spotted the distressed whale at approximately 5 p.m. on July 9 and contacted NOAA Fisheries’ stranding coordinator. They reported that the humpback was in poor condition, with multiple lines wrapped around it. NOAA requested assistance from Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The CG dispatched a 47-ft Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Golden Gate and transported members from NOAA and the Marine Mammal Center to the distressed whale.

NOAA RIB with entangled whale
NOAA Fisheries’ Large Whale Entanglement Response Team members remove a weather buoy anchoring line from an entangled whale in the Pacific Ocean west of Point Reyes.
© 2019 Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Bacon / USCG

After several hours of working to free the whale, the rescuers succeeded in cutting it free from the weather buoy mooring; it swam away.

“This entangled whale was very far offshore and provided many challenges to the team,” said Justin Viezbicke, NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Mammal stranding coordinator. “We simply could not have freed this whale if it hadn’t been for the Coast Guard’s assistance in providing long-range transportation and the trained volunteers who dropped everything to respond.” NOAA is investigating the entanglement.

The Coast Guard and NOAA are asking the public to report entangled whales by calling 1-877-SOS-WHALE (767-9425).

Live Crew Overboard Training

The Bay Area Multihull Association will conduct a Live Crew Overboard Training on Sunday, August 18, at 11 a.m. at the mouth of Richardson Bay, just outside Sausalito.

Truls Myklebust of BAMA writes, “We’re doing it for the first time this year. This has been a hot-button issue for me for safety. We are all required to do crew-overboard training exercises as part of preparedness for offshore races, but almost everybody does that with a fender and a bucket. While that’s useful, it’s not at all like recovering an actual person from the water. And, as stated in the recent US Sailing report from the crew-overboard fatality in the Chicago-Mackinac race, things can go horribly wrong, even with experienced crew on boats that have all the equipment on hand.

“So we’re doing this as a live crew-overboard exercise, with people jumping into the water, with additional support craft on scene for safety. A number of safety precautions will apply, including having the jumpers wear wetsuits, helmets and a VHF radio in addition to their life vests. We’re doing this as a club event for BAMA this year, so it’s multihull-focused. After we have gone through this once and learned what worked and what didn’t work in terms of the event format, we have thought about opening it up to the broader sailing community next time. We have already heard interest from several monohullers.”

Sign up for the event on Jibeset at

Clagett Grant Applications Open

The Rhode Island-based C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta is accepting applications for the 2019 Clagett Boat Grant Program. The program will donate two 2.4mR boats. They invite applications from individual sailors and community sailing programs in North America until October 1. The 2.4mR is a singlehanded keelboat used in adaptive sailing.

“We are now in the fourth year of the Clagett Boat Grant Program,” commented Clagett president and co-founder Judy Clagett McLennan. “It was a wonderful sight at the recent Clagett Regatta in Newport to see five of the Boat Grant Program boats racing, four in the 2.4mR class and one in the Sonar class. Sailors have benefited from this program from across the US and Canada. We look forward to granting two more boats to sailors who are eager to progress with their competitive sailing skills.”

Delani Hulme-Lawrence, from St Paul, Victoria, BC, received her 2.4mR in the 2017 round of the Clagett Boat Grant Program. She raced in Newport in June and went on to compete at the Para World Sailing Championships in Spain. “Through both the exceptional training opportunities and state-of-the-art equipment, having the support of the Clagett has revolutionized my sailing,” she remarked. “My progress and development have been accelerated. My recent success can be largely attributed to the Clagett. They are a vital piece of my success since the boat grant.”

Delani sailing in the Clagett
Delani Hulme-Lawrence sailing at the 2019 Clagett Regatta in June in Newport, RI.
© 2019 Ro Fernandez / Andes Visual / Clagett Regatta

To apply for the 2019 Clagett Boat Grant Program, go to You can submit your application by mail to Clagett Regatta, 231 Indian Ave., Portsmouth, RI 02871, or via email to [email protected].

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