Whale hit by big ferry in Seattle


Matthew McDonald

Mariano Romero Vela, Staff Writer

On the 28 of May of 2019, a humpback whale was struck by a ferry on Elliot bay in Seattle. The time was 8:15pm when the whale got in the route of the M/V Wenatchee (Passenger ferry).

When making a route from one place to another, in this case from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, there is typically someone who oversees things like whale spotting or looking out for obstacles that may lie in the water.

According to Washington State Ferries, ¨If a whale is spotted, the captain either stops or changes. During the incident on Tuesday night…no one on the crew saw the whale coming and didn’t have time to maneuver away from the whale.¨

The ferry was traveling at 16 knots, meaning rounding it to 18.4 mph which is not fast but not slow enough to be able to stop or change direction. It’s not built for speed more for luxury, some passenger did report that they saw a bleeding trail in the water from the passenger deck.

A NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ) spokesman said that that they are searching for the whale, but according to the Coast Guard on May 29, it was stated that they had no plans to search for the whale since the place it was hit is a heavy traffic area, meaning that if it shows back up it will most likely be spotted.

It appears that this is the first time a state ferry hit a marine mammal as said by Gregory Faust, the Director of Marine Operation Forces information.

“We don’t have any reported record…nothing that we know of or nothing that’s been reported,” shared Faust.

The whale status is currently unknown but its speculated that it most likely died.