Female Whale Impaled by Cruise Ship in New York Harbor Had Broken Ribs
MANHATTAN — A 45-foot sei whale impaled on the bow of a luxury cruise ship in New York Harbor Sunday showed signs of blunt force trauma including broken ribs and bruising, a necropsy found.
The mature female was photographed being pushed through the water by the Norwegian Breakaway as it returned from the Bahamas, according to press reports and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
After matching the markings on the photos with those on the whale during the necropsy, marine biologists determined that it was the same whale that the NYPD's Harbor Unit found floating off Bay Ridge on Monday, according to NOAA officials.
The whale had broken ribs and bruising to the right side of her body, Riverhead Foundation marine research center executive director Robert DiGiovanni Jr. said.
It's still unclear if the whale died before or after colliding with the ship, he said.
The 1,068-foot Breakaway had to be towed into Pier 88 Sunday morning after being stranded in the harbor for more than two hours. Officials would not say if the ship was damaged in the collision with the whale.
NOAA - Fisheries is still investigating the incident.
Norwegian Cruise Line did not return multiple calls and emails seeking comment.
The death is still under investigation by NOAA's law enforcement unit.