Coast Guard monitors injured whale near Florence, Oregon

SEATTLE — A Coast Guard helicopter crew spotted a whale that appeared to be injured two miles north of the Siuslaw River entrance, at approximately 1:05 p.m. Friday.

The Coast Guard notified the Marine Mammal Stranding Network MMSN at approximately 3:00 p.m.

MMSN is an organization overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that specializes in assisting marine mammals.

At 5:00 p.m. Jim Rice, Stranding Coordinator with MMSN, met with a Coast Guard helicopter crew in Florence, Ore., to fly over and assess the situation.

Rice stated that the whale did not appear tangled in any gear, but, “appeared to be debilitated, swimming parallel to shore and possibly lacking the energy to swim out of the surf zone.”

Rice said that he believed the species to be either a sei or fin whale, but was unable to tell for sure during the flight.

The Coast Guard and MMSN continue to monitor the situation.

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