Coast Guard establishes safety zone around beached whale at Rockaway Beach

NEW YORK – The Coast Guard has established a safety zone around a 20-foot whale reportedly attempting to beach itself at Rockaway Beach in the Rockaways, N.Y., around 8 p.m.

A 25-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station New York will remain on scene to prevent vessels from getting too close to the animal.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is responding and will assess the whale’s condition. The Suffolk County Police Department also dispatched an officer to the beach.

“Our main concern is for the safety of boaters and the animal itself,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Brian McClung, Coast Guard Sector New York’s watchstander at the time of the incident. “We will be working with the NOAA to protect the animal. The public is advised to keep a safe distance from the animal as it may be injured and dangerous.”

The Coast Guard also advises the public not to try to help the animal as it may be detrimental to the rescue effort.

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