The smell of cheesy pizza was enough to tempt a giant whale to jump on board for a bite. A group of friends sank on a boat in the middle of the ocean after a whale joined the celebrations.
Rick Rodriguez and three other friends were headed from the Galápagos Islands to French Polynesia when a sea creature sank their 44-foot ship named Raindancer. Rodriguez was two weeks into a three-week and 3,500-mile crossing of the South Pacific when the accident happened.
The squad was chewing on their pizza, completely unaware that another intruder was eyeing their meal. A whale made a startling entrance by crashing the boat and taking the sea passengers down for a swim.
It wasn’t a speedy rescue mission as the crew was stranded for 10 hours on a lifeboat.
Rodriguez remembered the experience as something completely out of the blue. “The second pizza had just come out of the oven, and I was dipping a slice into some ranch dressing,” he said.
Rodriguez added: “The back half of the boat lifted violently upward and to starboard.”
Shortly after the crash, emergency alarms went off to notify the friends that the boat was becoming flooded with a large amount of water. After the emergency prompt, the group packed up their supplies to get them through a week on a small lifeboat till they were saved by a rescue team.
The people who came to their rescue were known as the Rolling Stones, led by Geoff Stone who had witnessed the emergency signals go off.
Rodriguez released a statement on Instagram explaining the chaos: “It’s been 4 days now and I still can’t believe she’s gone,” he said after the ship didn’t survive the aftermath. “Raindancer took her last breath about 15 minutes after she got hit.”
“We were all smiles for making it out of that situation alive and rescued,” he continued.
Rodriguez will miss his ship on future sailing expeditions as he added: “She was my refuge, my rock, the one place I could be where I felt myself, she was my friend, I would give to her and she would give back memories, lessons, and stories. Things that are of high value to me.
“In the end, she was lost at sea, and left myself and the crew with one last incredible story.”