British Columbia

Whale-watching boat hits humpback near Victoria, B.C., 2 injured

Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada are investigating the incident

Whale watching boat

A Prince of Whales whale watching boat docked in Coal Harbour. A different Prince of Whales boat struck a humpback whale near Victoria, B.C., on Aug. 8, 2017. (David Horemans/CBC)

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One person remains in hospital after a whale-watching boat hit a humpback whale near Victoria, B.C., on Monday. 

It happened near Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, an outcropping to the south of Metchosin, around 2:45 p.m. PT. A zodiac vessel operated by Prince of Whales Whale Watching struck the humpback, after it unexpectedly surfaced right in front of the vessel. 

"The animal had not been seen previous to the vessel strike," said a company spokesperson, adding the boat's captain had been focusing on a different group of animals prior to the collision.

A spokesperson with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria says an inshore rescue boat was sent out to assist the tour boat after it reported the run-in.

Two tour boat passengers were sent to hospital and one is still recovering from their injuries. 

Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada are investigating the incident.

Because the vessel shows no sign of damage, it's believed the whale escaped injury. 

With files from Meera Bains and CHEK News

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