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Moment a Japanese tanker docks into a harbour with a 32-foot dead whale stuck on its bow 

How did they not notice? Moment a Japanese tanker docks into a harbour with a 32-foot dead whale stuck on its bow

  • Shocking images show the huge creature sprawled over the vessel on Tuesday
  • Tanker crew claims it did not notice hitting the whale during its journey 
  • Witnesses at Mizushima port in Kurashiki said they’d never seen anything like it 
  • Coastguard said measures to prevent such an incident were being reviewed 
  • Species of the whale has not been confirmed but it is thought to be a fin whale
  • It’s unclear if company that owns the tanker will be investigated 


A 32-foot whale carcass has been found wedged on the bow of a Japanese tanker as it pulled into harbour.

Shocking images show the huge creature sprawled over the vessel in the port of Mizushima in Kurashiki city on Tuesday. 

The coast guard was called out to the harbour after locals caught sight of the dead whale.

Local news site Yomiuri reported that the tanker had sailed through the Pacific Ocean on its way to Mizushima port and the crew claimed they had no idea that they had hit a whale.

‘I’ve been fishing here for decades, but it’s the first time I’ve seen a whale,’ a fisherman who witnessed the tanker pulling into the harbour told local media.  

‘I’ve lived for more than eighty years, but it’s my first time [seeing a whale],’ another witness said. 

Shocking images show the huge whale sprawled over the vessel in the port of Mizushima in Kurashiki city on Tuesday

The coast guard was called out to the harbour after locals caught sight of the dead whale

The coast guard was called out to the harbour after locals caught sight of the dead whale

Local news site Yomiuri reported that the tanker had sailed through the Pacific Ocean on its way to Mizushima port and the crew claimed they had no idea that they had hit a whale

Local news site Yomiuri reported that the tanker had sailed through the Pacific Ocean on its way to Mizushima port and the crew claimed they had no idea that they had hit a whale

A spokesperson from the Mizushima Coast Guard Department said that they had never witnessed anything like this and measures to prevent such an incident from happening again were being reviewed.

The whale’s species is yet to be confirmed but the Institute of Cetacean Research told Yomiuri that it appeared to be a fin whale.  

The fin whale, otherwise known as the finback whale, is ranked as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  

It is the second-longest species of cetacea on Earth after the blue whale, reaching lengths of 27.3 metres (89.6 feet) and a weight of 74 tonnes.

It is found in all the world’s major oceans and in waters ranging from the polar to the tropical. 

No information was released on whether the company that owns the tanker or the crew will be investigated. The company has not been named

No information was released on whether the company that owns the tanker or the crew will be investigated. The company has not been named

The whale's species is yet to be confirmed but the Institute of Cetacean Research told Yomiuri that it appeared to be a fin whale

The whale’s species is yet to be confirmed but the Institute of Cetacean Research told Yomiuri that it appeared to be a fin whale

Like all whales, the finback was intensely hunted during the 20th century, with an estimated 725,000 of them being killed in the Southern Hemisphere between 1905 and 1976. 

Today approximately 100,000 to 119,000 wild fin whales remain in the wild.

Another Japanese news site suggested the whale might be a humpback, because of its ‘chin pattern’ 

No information was released on whether the company that owns the tanker or the crew will be investigated. The company has not been named.

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