Lifeguards Friday evening were finally successful in getting a 22-ton dead whale back out to sea after it washed ashore on Dockweiler State Beach near Playa del Rey the night before.
The humpback whale was spotted by lifeguards about 8 p.m. Thursday, according to a tweet by the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division.
Efforts to tow the carcass back to the water Thursday night and most of Friday were unsuccessful, so the whale remained on the beach.
About 7 p.m., during the evening high tide, authorities used two boats, tied ropes to the tail and slowly pulled it back into the ocean.
Lifeguard Capt. Ken Haskett said the whale was 45 feet long and about 22 tons.
Earlier Friday, a tractor pushed sand up on to the land side of the whale as a barrier, so that the carcass didn’t wash ashore toward spectators.
A midday tow attempt failed after a rescue-boat line snapped, Haskett said.
Caution tape cordoned off a section of the beach to keep visitors away from the carcass, and to allow lifeguards and biologists to work.
Haskett asked that beachgoers stay a block away in either direction.
It is unclear how the whale died, but it did not appear to have any signs of trauma, marine mammal expert
Alisa Schulman told KTLA.
Earlier this week, a blue whale became entangled in some fishing line in the waters off of Dana Point. The fate of that animal was not clear.