SEATTLE (KING) – A Washington state ferry struck a humpback whale in Seattle’s Elliott Bay on Tuesday evening.
The whale has not been located. NOAA Fisheries spokesperson Michael Milstein said the strike was likely fatal, based on information provided by passengers.
Washington State Ferries says it has procedures in place to watch for whales, but the juvenile humpback whale that was struck Tuesday night was too close for the crew to maneuver the boat out of the way.
“I don’t know if there’s anything else they could have done,” Gregory Faust, state ferries director of marine operations, said Wednesday during a news conference.
The vessel was traveling from Seattle to Bainbridge Island when a humpback whale breached five to 10 feet in front of the boat. Just three minutes into the trip, the boat was traveling at 16 knots, and Faust said it would have taken about 600 feet to come to a complete stop.
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