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Whale Attacks Craft

 

Friday, September 15, 1922

Whale Attacked Italian Craft
Skipper and Crew Knocked Overboard But Climb to Safety—
Boat In Sinking Condition

Capt. Sam Parisi and five members of the crew of the Italian boat 872-C limped into port late last evening with a gaping hole in the side of their boat and the tale of a thrilling experience with a whale. There were not casualties, although Parisi and another man were knocked overboard, and five other boats close by when the battered boat began to sink, managed to get lines about her, and tow her to port, beaching her on Pavilion beach around midnight. The two men climbed into the seine boat.

The accident happened about 8 o’clock. The craft had made a set and was about ready to bail the fish into the boat when the whale, chasing the fish, butted headlong into the boat striking amidships on the port side. The blow sent the boat reeling over and nearly turned the craft bottom up. Parisi and the other fishermen, standing near the port rail were pitched overboard. Parisi struck on the back of the whale. He grabbed the gunwhale of the seine boat and climbed to safety. The other men did likewise.

The whale tore a hole about three feet square amidships just below the water line. The blow apparently stunned or killed him, for the fishermen saw the whale turn over and sink from sight. The craft was seining for mackerel with others of the fleet and were on Salvages about eight miles from Thacher’s when the mishap occurred. The sea was as smooth as a lake and these ideal conditions enabled the other boats to save the punctured craft. They got lines about her and started for port.

It was bad enough to meet with this mishap but on reaching the harbor they were mistaken for rum-runners and held up by police, customs officials, and coastguardsmen. However the officials on going out to the disabled boat soon found out her real plight and the work of beaching her on Pavilion beach went on.

This morning, the boat was examined by many people who were astonished at the miraculous escape of the crew and wondered how they ever got the boat to port with such a hole in her side. The owners took canvas and strapped up the hole temporarily at low water and will have her hauled on the ways later to be repaired.

 

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