A late-breaking report of a whale entanglement Friday evening sent U.S. Coast Guard personnel about two miles off the coast of Crescent City. At 6 p.m., USCG Lt. Bradley Brown, commander of the Cutter Dorado, said his crew was on the scene and awaiting further instructions from Sector Humboldt Bay. According to coordinates given by the Coast Guard, the whale was last seen about 2.3 miles west of Battery Point.
Dennis Wood, head of marine entanglement division, said the whale was sighted yesterday and appeared to be trailing a poly ball and a float behind it. He said he and his crew need to see the whale or review photos to determine their next course of action.
However, the recent death of a whale disentangler in Canada who died saving a whale there has affected local efforts as well.
“We’re kind of in stand down mode,” Wood said, “because human safety has to be paramount.”
He said that crews are under National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration jurisdiction and are awaiting authorization.
He said people will be going out again soon to look for the whale, in order to better assess its condition and what to do next.
He estimated the whale may be part of a resident population that lingers in the area in the summertime. If you should see this whale, please contact the Whale Disentanglement Network at 1-877-SOS-WHALE or 1-877-767-9425 or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Ch. 16.