Dead fin whale washes up at Burien’s Seahurst Park

(Photos courtesy Isa Sorensen)
Since we report so often about marine mammals here on WSB, we’re mentioning this even though it’s south of our coverage area, after getting a call from someone who wanted to make sure we knew about it: A fin whale has washed up on the beach at Seahurst Park in Burien; KIRO TV quotes experts as saying they believe it died after being hit by a vessel. Isa Sorensen gave us permission to share some of his photos.

Coincidentally, tomorrow will mark exactly three years to the day since a gray whale stranded and died off southwesternmost West Seattle, in The Arroyos. That’s less than four miles from Seahurst, if you were going by water. KIRO says Cascadia Research Collective will do the necropsy; it has researched other such cases in years past (including one in Tacoma in 2009). Fin whales, by the way, are rare in Puget Sound – so rare, they’re not even on The Whale Trail’s list of commonly sighted species;

14 Replies to "Dead fin whale washes up at Burien's Seahurst Park"

  • mb April 13, 2013 (4:37 pm)

    Very sad for that whale. Amazing that we have such big creatures so close! Would love to see one up close and ALIVE sometime!!

  • happy April 13, 2013 (4:38 pm)

    = (


  • Phoebe April 13, 2013 (6:53 pm)

    I just came back from Seahurst Park. Tons of people swarming the area, too bad no one really knew* what they were looking at. (*Knew as is KNOWING THE FACTS ABOUT FIN WHALES P.S. My clothes WREAK of dead whale :-(

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man April 13, 2013 (8:16 pm)

    Sheez Phoebe. Too bad the great unwashed didn’t know enough about living Fin whales to suit your tastes. Perhaps seeing the expired leviathan will inspire some to go home and study up so that the next time they share your beach you won’t be so disappointed. And yeah, about that odor…

  • Tricia Falcon April 13, 2013 (8:24 pm)

    What an awesome creature…. so sad that it had to die so that those of us who are so oblivious to the wonders of Puget Sound might get a glimpse of the of the abundant undersea life that exists just beyond our shores.

  • marty April 13, 2013 (10:30 pm)

    Wow Phoebe! I sure wish I knew everything! You are lucky…

  • KD April 13, 2013 (10:37 pm)

    Beautifully and eloquently stated Tricia.

  • herongrrrl April 13, 2013 (10:38 pm)

    Here’s a report from some researchers who examined the body, with a couple closer pictures. It probably stayed on the ship that hit it until the ship slowed on its approach to Port of Tacoma. This isn’t the first time this has happened here.

    It was quite a thing to see!

    • WSB April 13, 2013 (11:38 pm)

      Thanks, HG, that wasn’t up when I checked Cascadia’s site some hours ago. Will elevate to the main story in a bit too. – TR

  • enviromaven April 13, 2013 (11:13 pm)

    It always gives me a pang of sadness to see a majestic creature lose its life in our waters, but I agree with Tricia – there’s an amazing amount of marine wildlife in the PNW that we seldom sea (sorry, couldn’t resist :-) And speaking of spelling, clothes that smell of dead whale wouldn’t WREAK…unless they were actively causing havoc.

  • I'mcoveredinbees April 14, 2013 (2:55 am)

    Do we know how long the whale will be there?

  • J April 14, 2013 (6:36 am)

    The last whale was hauled away. This whale should be sunk offshore from where it lie. This is a gigantic foodsource for crabs, fish etc…

  • Muscle Beach April 14, 2013 (2:46 pm)

    Pretty arrogant Phoebe

  • DAWatling April 20, 2013 (1:15 am)

    Appreciated Phoebe’s comment and link. Comment by Muscle Beach had me wondering … trying to get to know the most majestic creatures we share the planet with is arrogant?

Sorry, comment time is over.