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Whale Breaches -- Vessel Blind Girl and Crew Take a Big Hit

As a day in the life, Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol Officers responded to a Mayday call from the 26-foot vessel Blind Girl, a brand new Bayliner with a crew of three, located just south of Santa Barbara Point. On Wednesday, just after sunset, vessel operator Gerald Gormley and passengers Robert and Vickey Thornburgh were whale watching when suddenly, a large whale breached and fell across the Vessel from the starboard-bow to her stern. Mr. Thornburgh was injured and disorientated when Officers arrived on scene. The Officers could see the vessel's cabin top had been ripped away and glass thrown everywhere. The pilot’s chair was pushed into a pretzel as the whale tail passed over the boat’s helm. Shaken and injured Mr. Thornberg was in the rear of the vessel when Patrol Officers boarded the boat to administer first aid. The unnerved victim complained of head and back pain, and a cervical-collar was immediately applied. Thornberg’s left index finger and both hands and wrists were covered in lacerations. Sterile bandages were administered, before the vessel Blind Girl and her crew were safely towed into the Santa Barbara Harbor where AMP personnel were standing by to assist in the transport to Cottage Hospital. (February 2006)  

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2018
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