Boaters Urged To Watch Out For Whales

(KHNL) The state is working to better warn boaters about the presence of humpback whales in Hawaiian waters. The winter migration means literally thousands of whales will be passing close to our coastlines.

To remind boaters, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is posting whale warning signs at harbors throughout the state.

As many as six thousand humpbacks migrate through Hawaiian waters between November and May.

On Christmas day in 2003, a three year old boy was killed after Humpback whale struck a whale-watching tour boat.

Last year there were at least two confirmed whale strikes, as well as other evidence of whales being injured by propellers.

On New Year's day of this year a boater off Maui shores says he saw a humpback whale, so he shut down his engine, but still the two made contact. However, it was that type of alertness that prevented injury to the whale.

Boaters are reminded to stay a minimum of 100 yards away from spotted whale pods.