Whale sighted in vicinity of Verrazano Bridge

NEW YORK – The Coast Guard is maintaining a safety zone around a whale spotted approximately one mile south of the Verrazano Bridge, N.Y. on April 9, 2009.

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation has a team responding to the scene to assess the condition of the whale. The Riverhead Foundation is authorized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to respond to marine life sightings.

“Several species of large whales are found off the Mid-Atlantic and even close to shore this time of year, including humpbacks, fin whales, right whales, and minke whales,” said Teri Frady, spokesperson for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service in the northeast. “Our current priority is to get a positive species identification, and to do an assessment of the animal’s health and the local environment.”

The Coast Guard strongly urges the public to maintain a safe distance from the animal as it may be detrimental to the rescue effort.

At last sighting the whale had moved toward Coney Island and appeared to be in good health.

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