Navy ship comes close to whales off OC coast

By The Associated Press
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A tail of a gray whale surfaces at the Ojo de Liebre lagoon in Guerrero Negro, Mexico, Feb. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

A tail of a gray whale surfaces at the Ojo de Liebre lagoon in Guerrero Negro, Mexico, Feb. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — It was a close call for the Navy’s new combat ship and a pod of gray whales off the Southern California coast.

The captain of a whale watching boat tells the Orange County Register he was tracking the pod near Dana Point on Sunday when he noticed on his radar that the USS Coronado was bearing down.

The naval vessel was on its way to San Diego for its christening.

The captain of the Dana Wharf, Todd Mansur, says he quickly got on the radio and contacted the Coronado.

Mansur says the 418-foot ship, designed for near-shore combat operations, immediately stopped, and the whales passed by unharmed.

While the Coronado is capable hitting 50 mph, Mansur estimates it was traveling only around 5 mph when it was approaching Dana Point.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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