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Authorities believe that a whale that inadvertently breached into the Tustumena as it was en route to Kodiak from Homer may have died from the collision on Wednesday.
No injuries were reported from passengers in the collision where the whale hit the vessel at a right angle causing damage to the Tustumena’s starboard stabilizer as it transited the Marmot Island area just after 11 am on Wednesday morning. The whale was stuck on the fin for several minutes before swimming away in an abnormal manner it was reported.
Using imagery by passengers aboard the ferry, NOAA officials believe that the whale may have been a fin or sei whale.
The damage to the stabilizer fin resulted in the fin not being able to fully retract, but that damage was not deemed to affect the seaworthiness after divers in Kodiak inspected the vessel’s hull. The fin is considered a comfort feature and not a safety feature.
Members of the public are asked to report sightings of injured or floating whales in the area. They are asked to call the AMHS Mammal Stranding Hotline at 877-925-7773.
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