A $20,000 grant will be used by the Maine Department of Marine Resources to buy a soft bottom inflatable boat that can maneuver more safely and effectively when Maine Marine Patrol respond to entangled whales.
“Often, responders have to pull alongside an entangled whale which might surface underneath the boat,” said DMR Scientist Erin Summers, who is coordinating the purchase. “A soft bottom boat will move and form to the body of the whale, making injury to the whale less likely. A hard bottom boat is also more likely to tip when hit from below, which could endanger the responders.”
That’s the word from the Wiscasset Newspaper, which prefers “soft bottom” to “soft-bottomed” as adjectival form, although I disagree.