A pair of whales were spotted in a Seal Beach channel Monday, attracting a crowd of onlookers and raising concerns they might get stuck in the shallow water.
The whales were spotted around mid-morning in the channel, floating along the surface of the water, giving an impressive show to a crowd of camera-wielding spectators who gathered to get a glimpse of the pair. By late morning, the whales appeared to be making their way back to open water, but they continued to linger in the mouth of the channel.
NewsChopper4 Bravo flew overhead at 5 p.m. to find the whales still in the channel, coming closer and closer to spectators. The crowd had grown since the initial sighting.
Biologist Justin Greenman of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told The Orange County Register the whales appeared to be having a good time and there was no indication of distress.
Experts said they did not plan to intervene to remove the whales as high tide was anticipated for 7:41 p.m. They are hoping the whales go back out to the ocean on their own.
Gray whales are currently migrating north from the lagoons of Mexico's Baja California peninsula to the arctic seas, where they will spend the summer feeding.