The ferry Tustumena passengers traveling to Kodiak watched a whale collide with the vessel Wednesday morning.
NOAA received a report of the incident from the Alaska Marine Highway System, according to NOAA Fisheries Alaska region spokeswoman Julie Speegle.
Eyewitnesses say a whale breached into the side of the ferry, Speegle said.
“Afterwards, the whale was seen swimming abnormally and then it sank out of sight,” she said. “From the force of the breach, it is likely that this whale suffered mortal injuries.”
The whale struck the ferry’s starboard stabilization fin.
“Divers took a look at the stabilizer, and it was able to be retracted,” DOT public information officer Aurah Landau said. “The vessel can run safely as is without that one stabilizer, and so we don’t anticipate needing repairs at this point.”
The ferry schedule will not be affected, Landau said.
Speegle said NOAA may be able to learn more, such as the whale’s species, if its body floats to the surface.
- Numbers from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development say the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 7.2 percent to 7.1 percent in June.
- The historic Mill Building may look quite different this time next year, thanks to a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation and, the center hopes, some matching local funds.
- A Southern Cheyenne woman found no solid data on the many indigenous women in the U.S. and Canada who have gone missing or been killed under suspicious circumstances. So she compiled it herself.
- MGM Resorts International is seeking to prevent lawsuits from being filed against it related to the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, including in Alaska federal court.