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Newport Beach Lifeguards Tow Dead Humpback Whale Out To Sea

NEWPORT BEACH ( – The carcass of a well-known whale named Scarlet was towed out to sea after she was spotted floating close to the shore of Newport Beach Thursday.

Scarlet's carcass was spotted about two miles offshore. At around 3 p.m., Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguards began the hours-long process of towing her out to sea.

Scarlet was at least 20 years old and 55-feet-long, experts say. She had a well-documented life, with video of her from as far back as 1997 along both the Oregon and California coasts. In 2016, cameras caught footage of her entangled in rope.

"It was very sad, because it wasn't just another humpback whale, which is already sad enough, but the fact that it was Scarlett," ocean life photographer Mark Girardeau told CBS2 Thursday evening. "She's been through so much. I photographed her breaching with ropes going through her mouth and pectoral fins, and she was able to overcome that and gain weight again."

Lifeguards say the challenge now will be making sure the carcass does not return to shore.

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