A state ferry ship struck a humpback whale in Elliott Bay WA on Tuesday, May 28, and initially, the USCG searched for the animal after travelers reported it was injured and bleeding.
The whale surfaced around 5 to 10 feet in front of Wenatchee ferry, leaving no time for the ship to slow or avoid the animal, Washington State Ferries spokeswoman Diane Rhodes said. The humpback was hit just after the 8:15 pm crossing from Seattle to Bainbridge Island.
WSF policies direct ships to avoid getting close to marine animals. The whale had not been seen prior to the strike. The crew of Wenatchee at first thought the ferry had hit a log. However, they later spotted the whale alongside the vessel. Passengers reported seeing the whale bleeding.