The boat is badly damaged but the fishermen are OK, while it remains unclear how the whale shark fared.
The collision occurred Saturday in the Sea of Cortez, and involved the vessel Jen Wren, which runs from the Baja California community of Buena Vista.
The Jen Wren had been cruising into the bright glare of the sun, and Chuy, the captain, did not see the whale shark until after it was struck.
“It had punched the shaft strut through the bottom of the boat and they were taking on a massive amount of water,” Rayor wrote.
As Rayor, aboard the Jen Wren III, sped toward the damaged vessel’s position, the Jen Wren’s crew managed to stem some of the water flow. It also managed to get the bilge pumping water out of the boat as swiftly as possible.
When Rayor arrived the transfer of anglers was safely made, and a Jen Wren III crewman, Diego, jumped over to help Chuy.
“Between Chuy, Diego and Manuel they finally got the other raw water hose off the intake and into the bilge. Now, with both motors pumping, they were able to keep up with the water leak and limp back to Buena Vista,” Rayor wrote, adding: "I believe it was the experience and competence of skipper Chuy that saved the day and stopped a bad situation from turning into a disaster."
To be sure, since this collision occurred far offshore, the safety of the passengers was the first consideration.
Rayor explained that work is underway toward getting Jen Wren fit for fishing. It needs a new shaft, and repairs to the prop and strut.
As for the whale shark, Saturday was a day in the life it probably wishes it could start over.
Fortunately, these types of incidents are extremely rare, thanks to the sharp eyes of Baja's veteran captains and crews.