Federal authorities are investigating the cause of death of a whale found stuck on the bow of a Princess Cruise ship near Juneau Wednesday morning.
The Coast Guard says the whale, which appears to be a juvenile humpback, was discovered on top of the bulbous bow of the Sapphire Princess about 8 a.m. as the ship was south of Juneau near Tracy Arm.
The vessel called the Coast Guard, which responded with officials from NOAA Fisheries. The Sapphire Princess waited south of Juneau following the discovery while a tugboat crew worked to dislodge the carcass. The vessel was cleared to proceed to port after 3 p.m.
The tugboat was hauling the carcass to an undisclosed location where authorities could conduct a necropsy to determine the cause of death of the whale, the Coast Guard said.
NOAA officials planned to interview crew members of the Sapphire Princess about the incident.
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By JAMES HALPIN