Everett, Washington: An incoming tide has helped a young gray whale swim free off a beach along the Washington coast where it had been stranded in shallow water on a hot summer day.
Marine biologists had draped the whale in a wet sheet after it was found Thursday morning. They and volunteers spent hours dousing it with buckets of water to try to keep it cool at Harborview Park in Everett.
National Marine Fisheries Service spokesman Brian Gorman says the whale was able to swim free Thursday afternoon. He says the whale is emaciated and the outlook isn’t good for the animal because gray whales don’t normally come ashore unless they are injured or sick.
About 40 feet long, the whale is described as probably 5-6 years old. Gray whales can live to 50 or older.