Witness reports seeing baby gray whale in San Diego Bay, prompting search

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SAN DIEGO – U.S. Coast Guard mariners and aviators were searching for a baby gray whale in San Diego Bay Sunday, after a witness called in to report seeing it enter the channel.

The witness reported sighting the cetacean at 8:15 a.m., according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Simpson. That’s when they launched a 33-foot response boat into the bay in search of the whale.

Coast Guard helicopter crews were also asked to keep a lookout for the whale on their routine patrols, Simpson said.

The Coast Guard reported the sighting to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Simpson said.

The USCG would maintain a safety zone around the whale, keep boaters away from the area and turn the case over to NMFS officials in the event the whale was found, Simpson said.

But there have been no subsequent sightings, officials said.

The NOAA informed USCG officials that whales are common off San Diego this time of year. The NOAA’s National Whale Week begins Monday.

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