Dead fin whale washes up on Ocean Shores beach

OCEAN SHORES, Wash. (AP) - A dead adult male fin whale that experts believe has been dead about a couple weeks was found near Ocean Shores Thursday morning.

A deputy on patrol found the 60 foot long whale washed up on a beach about four miles north of Ocean Shores, and three miles from Ocean City beach access.

The whale apparently died from blunt force trauma near the head which is consistent with being struck by a ship.

"Most likely from a vessel, but we don't have any proof. There's no paint chips on it or anything like that it's unlikely it came from another though," Cascadia Research's Jessie Huggins.

The part of the beach where the whale was off limits to vehicle traffic and onlookers needed to walk a long distance to see the whale.

"It happens here on the coast. I've seen dead sea lions, etcetera out here," said Jerry Waltosz, a beach visitor. "It's tough to see this majestic mammal all torn up and its insides all spilling out. But it appears to be a fact of life along the coast and around the Sound."

Cascadia's experts examined the whale this morning with assistance from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Their researchers say there have been 12 to 13 of these types of vessel-strike deaths since 2002.

Disposal of the whale is expected to take place within next couple days.

Cascadia is a scientific and education organization based in Olympia.