A 35-year-old Canadian woman was killed and two other people injured in mid-March when a whale smashed into their 25-foot inflatable boat off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, according to news reports.
The accident happened about a mile offshore as the boat was returning from an excursion. As one of the whales breached the water, it collided with an inflatable sightseeing boat piloted by tour company Cabo Adventures.
“The captain had to make a movement to avoid a whale that surfaced just in front of the boat,” the company said in a statement. “The whale hit one side of the boat, leaving two people injured and another passenger hurt who, unfortunately, later died in hospital.”
The victim was identified as Jennifer Karren of Calgary in Alberta, CTV News reported.
The whales spend the winter months in the warm waters off the Mexican coasts, where they breed.
The port captain’s office for Cabo San Lucas issued a circular the next day ordering its employees to ensure boats respect the 4-knot speed limit in San Lucas bay. It also announced a temporary, 15-knot speed limit on boats in open water outside the bay, which it said will last as long as the whales are in the area.
The National Commission for Natural Protected Areas said its census indicated a 10 percent increase on last season, making it one of the highest migrations registered during the last two decades.