Rescue Teams Prepare for Whale Herding Operation

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Training exercises will begin on Monday in preparation for herding two wayward humpback whales to the San Francisco Bay. Attempts to coax the female whale and her calf using whale sounds will not resume Monday as previously planned, officials announced today.

Tuesday’s herding operation will involve using several boats equipped with metal pipes, which rescuers will bang on with hammers to create underwater noises that are unfamiliar to the whales. Rescuers will position the boats behind the whales to urge them down river and block them from turning back.

The Port of Sacramento is cooperating with the Unified Command in scheduling commercial vessel traffic to accommodate the safety needs of the whales. Expected commercial ship movements include the arrival of the cargo ship SANKO JUPITER at the Agrium Dock downriver from the channel basin during daylight hours today. The cargo ship JIN QUAN, currently moored at the Port of Sacramento, is scheduled to depart on Monday during daylight hours.

Allied agencies will closely monitor the movement of these vessels to ensure the safety of the whales.

The news media can access the news desk daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling 916-366-5977 ext. 76102 or 76103. News media may also obtain recorded updates on the whale rescue operation and the number for the public information officer on duty at 916-651-1357. Information concerning the whales may be found at www.incidentnews.gov.

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