Ferry Hits Whale in Elliott Bay While on Bainbridge Island Run

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Passengers on the ferry Wenatchee were shaken Tuesday night after the vessel collided with a whale in Elliott Bay.

The Wenatchee was running on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route near Pier 66 when it hit the whale around 8:30 p.m. Washington State Ferries spokeswoman Diane Rhodes said the crew initially thought they hit a log but later spotted a whale bleeding to the side of the boat.

While one passenger said everyone on board “watched in horror,” disturbed by the incident, Rhodes said no one was injured.

The agency alerted the U.S. Coast Guard, which notified the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to a Coast Guard spokesman. Vessel inspectors also were notified, but the ferry was still running.

Witnesses described seeing a bleeding whale, which they believed was seriously injured or dying.

“The whale surfaced after being struck and gushing a lot of blood. It surfaced a few more times before sinking,” said Seattle resident Beth Andrus.

Officials weren’t sure what kind of whale was struck and did not have further details Tuesday night.

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