Update: Gray whale strands and dies off The Arroyos

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, substituted at 7:11 pm for our original cameraphone photo)
ORIGINAL 4:59 PM REPORT: We are on a private beach in The Arroyos where neighbors and whale experts have gathered because of a stranded, likely dead, gray whale. More to come. 5:04 PM UPDATE: Among those here is whale expert Jeff Hogan, who’s been talking to NOAA. He thinks the whale is indeed dead, possibly just within the past hour – neighbors here tell us they saw it moving around earlier this afternoon. It is off a bulkhead in front of homes along this far southwest section of West Seattle shoreline; the whale is mostly submerged but the tide is starting to go out. 5:27 PM: Update, the tide actually is still rising – high tide is in about an hour. Then there’s a minus tide at midday tomorrow, and experts will examine the whale then if it hasn’t floated off overnight. Two TV choppers were over us a little while ago so you may see something about this on tv too. Here’s what Hogan told us a short time ago:

Again, this is happening just off a private beach (we are here by the good graces of the neighbors, one of whom called us about an hour ago to ask who to report this sort of thing to) so not a good idea to come down to try to get a glimpse. If you see a marine mammal in trouble, by the way, this is the hotline (easy to find any time on the Seal Sitters’ website) 800-853-1964. ADDED 6:52 PM: Video from a little more than an hour ago, giving you a little more perspective on where the whale is, in context with the residential shoreline (and Vashon across the way):

Hogan expects to be back in the morning where a low tide would beach the whale so it could be necropsied. We will be continuing to monitor the situation tonight.

14 Replies to "Update: Gray whale strands and dies off The Arroyos"

  • Cheryl April 14, 2010 (5:11 pm)

    Oh this is sad news. Seems like there have been quite a few beached Grays this year.

  • deborah April 14, 2010 (5:51 pm)

    is this Patch? killed by the rogue Orca whales that rammed him near Camano Island?

  • HunterG April 14, 2010 (5:56 pm)

    Dislike button inserted here. :(

  • SC April 14, 2010 (6:07 pm)

    This is the 3rd dead grey in the last few weeks…… I also would like to click the “Dislike” button. So sad.

  • Lynne April 14, 2010 (6:16 pm)

    Just came back after having a look. Sorry to see such a sad sight at a place which brings us so much joy. Glad we could “pay our respects” to such an amazing creature.

  • samson April 14, 2010 (6:33 pm)

    Not going there! pay my respect! :(

  • DC April 14, 2010 (8:03 pm)

    Very sad indeed.

  • sr April 14, 2010 (8:05 pm)

    I’m very sad. Not a good year for the Grays.

  • OP April 14, 2010 (8:13 pm)

    Same question as Deborah. Sad, true, but this is life for everything.

  • Patrick April 14, 2010 (8:45 pm)

    Deborah & CP: The next low tide happens around midnight which means it will be difficult to see what happened. The next low tide finishes up around noon tomorrow. Jeff Hogan said that means that we won’t be able to get a really good look at the whale until mid-morning.

  • denise April 14, 2010 (8:59 pm)

    Hopefully we can find out what cause this whale to die. This is really sad.

  • d April 14, 2010 (10:09 pm)

    The 10:00 King 5 news report suggests that all of the gray whales (4 now in the Sound in the past month?) have been grossly underweight. The other deceased grays, the report suggested, had little in their stomachs when necropsies were performed. They seem to have starved to death on their way back up to the Bering Sea.

    Our waters are in deep trouble. So very sad, they are such glorious beasts.

  • Westside J. April 14, 2010 (10:49 pm)

    That is sad… Hate to see/hear this kind of thing :(

  • duxbellorum April 15, 2010 (11:10 am)

    I’m in LA; there was a report in the LA Times yesterday where the grey whale experts and charter boat captains from Dana Point to Santa Barbara are alarmed at so few sightings — down 75%, I think. No explanation yet. Perhaps El Nino…?

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