No whale strike occurred, Superferry says


POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009

WAILUKU » Hawaii Superferry officials said, contrary to a report from a passenger, the vessel did not strike a whale en route to Maui yesterday morning.

Officials said they followed standard procedures in turning to avoid a whale and stopping in open ocean.

The Superferry later resumed its trip to Kahului and returned as scheduled to Oahu in the afternoon.

Federal marine officials suspended an investigation yesterday afternoon after gathering information through interviews with passengers and the ship's captain.

A passenger called a federal marine hot line saying there was a possible whale strike at about 8:30 a.m. yesterday as the Superferry passed by Penguin Bank, according to an official with the Hawaiian Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Wendy Goo, spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said a federal marine law enforcement officer happened to be shipping his car on the Superferry and was on the vessel.

She said the officer conducted an investigation and interviewed passengers and the captain.

“;He concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively say there was a ship strike,”; Goo said. “;We're not pursuing it further at this time.”;