Dead whale reported floating near Whidbey Navy base

A dead whale was seen floating near Whidbey Island Thursday.

Rudy Deck of Coupeville spotted the large marine mammal, possibly a gray whale, as it floated near Rocky Point.

Deck reported the sighting to ORCA Network, said Howard Garrett, co-founder of the Greenbank-based organization.

Another report placed the whale carcass near Whidbey Island Naval Air station at approximately 9:30 a.m.

The ORCA Network is uncertain of the type of whale or the cause of death, Howard said, adding that he assumes it's a gray whale from Deck's report.

The network received two reports of gray whale sightings within the last week. At least one gray whale was spotted in the South Sound last week and another report came in of a gray whale off the west side of San Juan Island three days ago.

Last April, NAS Whidbey officials granted base access to Cascadia Research, the Orca Network and other groups to perform a necropsy on a dead gray whale. Brent and Terica Taylor used their Deception Pass Tours catamaran to tow the bloated carcass onto base property. Results showed the mammal was likely killed by a ship strike.

The whale won't be towed ashore this time, Garrett said.

"There's no boat or budget available, unless there's a willing volunteer," he said. "It'll probably just blow away."

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