Evaluation of Propeller Cuts Documented in Right Whale Necropsy
Field No.: GA 2006 025
James L. Wood
P. O. Box 510129
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951
The propeller that struck this animal was about 39 inches (100 cm) in diameter with 6 blades. This type of propeller is not common and is often used on high speed vessels to reduce vibration. Because of the expense of this type of propeller, it was probably not a common "working" boat. The propeller rotated clockwise and was probably the starboard propeller of a twin propeller design. The vessel traversed the whale from head to tail, and the whale passed outboard of the starboard propeller. Cut #21 that runs the length of the cut series is probably not from a keel or rudder and may not even be associated with the propeller cuts. The vessel was traveling about 1.4 times the speed of the whale and probably below 5 knots.
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