A Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies research vessel accidentally collided with a North Atlantic right whale Wednesday, prompting the organization to issue a warning Friday to area boaters of a great concentration of the marine mammals in Cape Cod Bay.
The rare species of whale has been flocking to the western shore of Cape Cod Bay and the area around the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal because of large blooms of plankton, said Dr. Charles "Stormy" Mayo, who was on the vessel, the R/V Shearwater.
On Wednesday at 1:49 p.m., the Shearwater collided with the whale, which surfaced directly beneath the boat. The boat was traveling at 9 knots at the time of the collision, Mayo said.
The extent of any wounds was hard to determine, Mayo said, but the whale swam off, lifting its fluke and was lost from sight among other feeding whales.