Sailboat sunk by a whale in the Pacific Ocean

A story that seems to have come out of the pages of Herman Melville. A sailboat, the Raindancer was hit by a whale in the Pacific Ocean and when owner Rick Rodriguez launched the SOS radio everyone thought he was joking. In her first few text messages from the life raft, he said he was in serious trouble. “Tommy, this is no joke,” he wrote to his friend and fellow sailor Tommy Joyce. “We hit a whale and the ship went down. Tell as many boats as you can,” Rodriguez also urged. Rodriguez and three friends were embarked on a 13-day, three-week crossing from the Galapagos to French Polynesia on his 44-foot sailboat, Raindancer. Rodriguez said in an interview with the Washington Post that the ship had good winds and was cruising at about 6 knots when heard a thunderous bang. The sinking lasted only 15 minutes. Rodriguez and his friends managed to escape in a lifeboat and inflatable boat. The crew spent 10 hours adrift, floating about nine miles before a civilian vessel snatched them from the Pacific Ocean in a seamless pre-dawn maneuver.

As in Melville’s novel

The curiosity is that the Moby Dick book which tells a very similar story is set in the same region. The ship Essex was also heading west from the Galapagos when she was rammed by a sperm whale in 1820; leaving the captain and some of the crew to endure about three months and resort to cannibalism before being rescued.