Navy Warship Stops —to Let Whales Pass

Whale-watching boat warned of potential collision

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 11, 2014 12:43 PM CDT

(Newser) – What's it take to make the Navy's speedy new warship stop dead in its tracks? A few whales on a leisurely swim. The USS Coronado ceded the right-of-the-way in a close call over the weekend off Southern California, reports the Orange County Register. It seems the captain of a whale-watching boat tracking a pod of gray whales realized that the whales and the Coronado were on a collision course. He radioed ahead, and the Coronado immediately pulled up to let the whales pass.

“Seeing a ship that big stop on a dime was impressive,” says Dana Wharf's captain, Todd Mansur. “They couldn't have been more courteous on the radio, or in their actions.” The Coronado was on its way to San Diego to be christened, and because it uses thrusters instead of propellers, it can come closer to shore than your typical Navy ship, notes the PeteThomasOutdoors blog. The whales, meanwhile, are making their annual trek from Baja California to the arctic for summer feeding.

File photo of the USS Coronado.
File photo of the USS Coronado.   (Flickr)
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