In this Dec. 27, 2018, file photo, a Washington State ferry heading into Elliott Bay is illuminated by the sun as the city behind remains under clouds in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson,File)

Ferry hits whale near Seattle

Passengers on the M/V Wenatchee say they saw an injured whale bleeding after the impact

Authorities say a ferry hit a whale near Seattle and that the Coast Guard is searching for it.

KING5 television reports the whale breached about five feet (1.5 metres) in front of the M/V Wenatchee during the ferry’s 8:15 p.m. trip from Seattle to Bainbridge Island on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Dead grey whale on Washington State beach to be towed away

A spokesperson for the Washington State Ferry system said crew members did not see the whale coming and did not have time to manoeuvre away from it.

The boat was travelling at about 16 knots, or 18 mph (29 kph), when the whale was hit about three minutes into the ferry’s route.

Passengers who were on the passenger deck say they saw an injured whale bleeding and one believed it was a gray whale.

The strike was reported to government officials.

The Associated Press

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