A two-mile stretch of sand along Sunset Beach was closed Sunday after a small whale came ashore and drew shark activity, Huntington Beach officials said.

The small whale — possibly a northern right whale dolphin — was discovered near Tower 22 around 3:45 p.m. Sunday after beachgoers alerted Huntington Beach City Lifeguards about the whale that was still alive.

“Lifeguards confirmed the whale was in the surf and that it had bite marks on it,” said Jennifer Carey, spokesperson for the city. “Afterwards, they asked people on the beach if they saw anything, and they said they saw a shark and thrashing, and then the whale washed ashore.”

Carey said there were no injuries to people.

The shoreline and ocean on either side of Tower 22 will be closed one mile in each direction, per city policy, Carey said. The closure will remain in place for  48 hours.

Carey said the whale was picked up from the beach by a rescue team from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Information on its condition was not immediately available Sunday evening.


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