FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. (AP) -- A federal fisheries spokesman says a private boat has hit a killer whale in northwest Washington's San Juan Islands.
National Marine Fisheries Service spokesman Brian Gorman said the whale stopped swimming after being hit Friday, was breathing abnormally and showed signs of distress. He says it's not clear what if any injuries the adult female might have suffered. He confirms witness accounts reported by The Seattle Times (http://bit.ly/oJvBfx) that other killer whales were staying near the stricken whale.
Gorman says officials are looking for the boat. It wasn't immediately clear whether the whale appeared suddenly in front of the boat or whether the boat's driver got too close to the whale. Federal regulations now warn boaters to stay 200 yards from whales on the west side of San Juan Island, where the whale was hit.
Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com