Sludgie the Whale was removed from the Gowanus Bay yesterday - and not without difficulty. The first time the Army Corp of Engineers tried to remove him, Sludgie slipped out of the knot and, as Newsday puts it, "plunged to the depths of the harbor, 30 feet below." The ACE's boat captain said, "It was a 'might knot' -- it might hold and it might not." Army Corp of Engineers: Can help get Intrepid moved, can't tie a knot to hold a 3,500-5,000 pound minke whale (but the ACE has hauled in other dead whales before in the New York Harbor area).
With Sludgie at the bottom of the harbor, the NYPD's underwater divers were called in to "retrieve" Sludgie, which they did using "pattern search" in the zero-visibility water. The ACE told Newsday that it could have taken Sludgie 2 days to resurface (ugh, dead carcass bloat) and that there might be navigational issues if the whale wasn't retrieved.
The necropsy will be performed in Jersey City. Based on initial reports, some believe Sludgie may have been to young to survive on his own. Gowanus Lounge writes it might be a slight comfort to find out that Sludgie was not killed by the Gowanus's quality - and reveals that there was a whale in the Gowanus back in 1952 when it was even more disgusting!
Photographs by Dima Gavrysh/AP