Dead fin whale and her calf are found stuck to the hull of Australian Navy ship when it pulls into port in San Diego
- Carcasses of two fin whales, believed to be mother and calf, were discovered stuck to the hull of a Royal Australian Navy HMAS Sydney ship
- The whales were discovered after the vessel docked at a naval base in San Diego on Saturday morning
- Australian and US officials helping investigation into the deaths of the whales
- The HMAS Sydney, a 146-metre destroyer, has been participating in training exercises in the US since April
- It extends some seven metres underwater and travels at such a speed that it may not have noticed hitting the whales
A Royal Australian Navy ship has been blamed for the death of a mother fin whale and her calf after their bodies were found stuck to the hull when the vessel arrived in California.
The whales were discovered after the HMAS Sydney docked at a naval base in San Diego on Saturday morning.
The Australian and US navies will assist a local investigation into the causes of the whales’ deaths.
The mother fin whales is 20 metres long while her calf is less than 8 metres. They were likely feeding near the surface when they were hit by the ship, experts say.
A fin whale is pictured tied to mooring at the Naval Base in San Diego after two carcasses appeared when the HMAS Sydney docked on Saturday morning
‘The U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Navy are cooperating with the NOAA Fisheries and other agencies to review the incident,’ an Australian defense department spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The Navy takes marine mammal safety seriously and is disheartened this incident occurred.’
The HMAS Sydney, a 146-metre destroyer which has been participating in training exercises in the US since April, extends some seven metres underwater and travels at such a speed that it may not have noticed hitting the two mammals.
The larger whale will be taken out to sea and sunk while an autopsy will be carried out on the calf.
Fin whales are commonly found off the Californian coast, particularly San Diego, with the mammals moving south for warmer waters to feed.
The HMAS Sydney (pictured) is a 146-metre destroyer that has been participating in training exercises in the US since April