Strandings and Dr. Alan Bater

By Michael D. Sellers for MovieBank and Quantum Entertainment.One of the things that plays a role in the script we are developing for Way of the Dolphin is something based on an actual event — the strandings of beaked whales and dolphins in the Bahamas in 2000. I’ve previously written about this and provided links to the article on Ken Balcomb who played a major role in this and was eventually able to get the Navy to admit that their sonar had caused this.Anyway, another player in all of this was Dr. Alan Bater of Grand Bahama Island and he’s provided us with some personal photographs which, while a little difficult to look at, give an idea of how this might play out dramatically on screen. I’m pasting a few of the photos in here. In all, there were 17 confirmed deaths from stranding — many of them beaked whales which are a somewhat rare breed of whales that are known as “deep divers” who spend up to 85 minutes underwater at a time, and go to very great depths. One of the theories about what happens to them, and why they are particularly vulnerable, is that when they hear the sonar (which can sound like a jet engine very close by) they panic while at a very deep depth and rush to the surface, causing them to get something like “the bends”.Again, dramatic photos, a little painful to look at, but very helpful to our designers and special effects people, among others, as they prepare to recreate a scene like this.Stranded_whale_3Stranded_whale1Dr_alan_bater_whale_4Dr_bater_dr_ewing_5

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~ by Michael Sellers on October 25, 2007.

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