Dead fin whale in Point Loma challenging lifeguards


City News Service

San Diego Lifeguards on Sunday day were determining what to do with a dead 50-foot fin whale that washed up ashore on an isolated Point Loma beach Saturday.

The whale washed up near the Point Loma Waste Treatment Plan on Gatchell Road sometime before 2 p.m. Saturday, San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Greg Buchanan said. The beached whale was not decomposed, indicating that it had not been dead long.

It washed up in a very isolated stretch of beach and will not affect any beach-goers, Buchanan said.

Lifeguards plan on moving the whale, which is on the U.S. Endangered Species List, so that scientists can determine its cause of death.

The whale will most likely be moved within the next few days in the morning, when the tide is at its highest point, Buchanan said.

Fin whales are referred to as the “greyhound of the sea” because they can swim up to 23 miles per hour. They are the second-largest species of whale and can grow up to 75 feet and weigh 70 tons, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.