— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 9, 2016
8:40 AM: We’re at the Fauntleroy ferry dock, where a crew from Global Diving and Salvage is getting ready to tow away the carcass of the 39-foot juvenile humpback whale that died on the beach here Sunday (WSB all-day coverage here; photo/video followup here). First, it had to be evaluated:
The whale has been out of view, submerged, since a Washington State Ferries “shore gang” tied it to floats Sunday night and towed it to a spot along the dock where it’s been secured since then.
As we reported last night, Global – which is based in West Seattle – got the call on Monday that its assistance would be needed to dispose of the whale, which is to be sunk in Puget Sound rather than taken to a beach to decompose. Its 62-foot landing-craft-type vessel Prudhoe Bay – also known for bringing the Seafair Pirates to Alki Beach each summer – pulled up just after 8 am:
Global Diving and Salvage executives tell WSB they’ve assisted with whales before – including the fin whale that turned up at Seahurst Park in Burien in 2013.
9:13 AM: The crew has secured floats – and therefore, the whale – to the Prudhoe Bay, and is sailing away from the dock, headed for a “pre-approved” sinking site. (We’ve added video atop this story, and will be adding more photos later.)
4:27 PM UPDATE: Just talked with David DeVilbiss from Global, who confirms the whale has been “respectfully” sent to its final resting place “in about 400 feet of water.” Location not specified, but we’ve noted that MarineTraffic.com showed the Prudhoe Bay off Blake Island most of the day. DeVilbiss adds that a marine biologist was on board and able to get more information about the whale that couldn’t be gathered on the beach – underside markings, for example.