Young whale finds its way out of Southern California harbor

Rescue workers have attempted to guide a humpback whale out to open water after it became stranded in a marina.

Ventura Harbor Patrol officials say the whale was spotted yesterday and was been swimming back and forth in the harbour. "All the stuff that we were trying was exactly that, just trying the best that we could to respect the animal and not try to further agitate it", said John Higgins, a harbor master for the Ventura Port District.

Part of the effort included placing an underwater speaker transmitting whale sounds near the harbor entrance, he said.

The whale was not injured, said Ventura Harbor Patrol Officer Tim Burrows. At times, the 35-foot long whale appeared agitated as swirls of sand and dirt muddied the waters at the end of the dock. Spectators flocked to see the rare sight while Coast Guard, the National Parks Service and local authorities collaborated to free the 40-foot-long mammal, AP reported.

After blocking its path with boats and banging on pipes failed to work, they tried the whale feeding sounds.

Dr Rachel Cartwright, a biology lecturer at California State University, said the noise could have bounced around the harbour and made it more disorientated.

  • Carolyn Briggs