What luck! Five people and a whale are all safe and uninjured in a maritime collision that could have been much, much worse.

According to Rebecca Rosenblatt, a spokesperson for the San Mateo Sheriff's Office, five sailors were heading from Monterey to Half Moon Bay when they struck a whale at around 2:40 Saturday afternoon.

The occupants of the boat reported seeing the whale and feeling their boat collide with it, Rosenblatt said.The collision disabled the boat's engine, leaving the sailors helpless and about ten miles from shore. Fortunately, the tide was in their favor, and the vessel was pushed toward, not away from, the coast of Pescadero.

Rosenblatt says that once near the shore, the boaters were able to hop off the boat and to head for dry land near Pebble Beach.

Both the whale and the boaters appear to be free of harm, Rosenblatt said.

A salvage company was sent to retrieve the drifting boat, which had ended up near the rocks in a protected marine sanctuary. Sheriff's office staff and the salvage team have spent the weekend "working to ensure the ecosystem is protected from possible gas or oil spillage during the salvage operation," Rosenblatt said.