DANA POINT, Calif. — A gray whale swam along an outer channel and near a dock in Dana Point Harbor, marking the third sighting in four months.

The Orange County Register reports the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol used fire hoses to guide the 35-foot (10-meter) whale to the mouth of harbor on Tuesday.

A whale swam in the same harbor in August, later stopping in shallow waters off Aliso Beach. In October, a juvenile whale was spotted and took a similar route as the Tuesday whale.

Officials say it’s unclear if the marine mammal is the same whale from previous sightings.

Marine biologist Alisa Schulman-Janiger says some whales stay close to the shoreline and turn into harbors if they lose their point of reference.

Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.