4 Friends on Sailing Trip Rescued After Their Boat Collided With a Whale While They Ate Pizza
Rick Rodriguez and three friends were sailing to French Polynesia when their sailboat made contact with a whale — and then sank
Four people were rescued from the Pacific Ocean last week after their sailboat collided with a whale while they chowed down on pizza.
Rick Rodriguez, 31, and three friends were sailing to French Polynesia on March 13 when the 44-foot boat, named Raindancer, suddenly made contact with the whale, according to The Washington Post.
"The second pizza had just come out of the oven, and I was dipping a slice into some ranch dressing," Rodriguez told the newspaper. That's when the back half of the vessel "lifted violently upward and to starboard," he added.
Rodriguez spotted a bleeding whale in the water shortly after impact, per The Washington Post and Today.
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Raindancer sank in a matter of 15 minutes, according to an Instagram post shared by Rodriguez.
"It was just like, such a surreal moment," Alana Litz, who was also aboard, told Today. "And even when the boat was going down, I felt like it was just a scene out of a movie."
All four passengers climbed into a small life raft, where they remained for several hours until they were rescued by a boat named Rolling Stones, per the outlets.
Before the rescue, Rodriguez sent out multiple text messages to friends and family to inform them of the situation, per Today. One of those dispatches was sent to Tommy Joyce, who was sailing in a "buddy boat" behind them.
Joyce later responded with, "We got you bud," and "We have a bunch of boats coming" according to The Washington Post.
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The closest boat was the Rolling Stones, captained by Geoff Stone, 42, of Muskego, Wis., per the newspaper. The vessel reached the stranded sailors after about nine hours.
On Instagram, Rodriguez thanked the catamaran's "good hearted" crew for coming to their rescue. "We were all smiles for making it out of that situation alive and rescued," he wrote.
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Rodriguez went on to mourn the loss of his beloved sailboat, which he said was his "ticket to exploring the world."
"In the end, she was lost at sea, and left myself and the crew with one last incredible story. I'll remember that boat for the rest of my life," he wrote. "What's left of my home, the pictures on the wall, belongings, pizza in the oven, cameras, journals, all of it, will forever be preserved by the sea."
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