‘Incredibly lucky’: endangered orcas dodge diesel spill off San Juan Island

A fishing boat carrying 2,600 gallons of fuel sank off the western shore of San Juan Island on Saturday

It released an oily sheen that spread for 2 miles in critical habitat for the Northwest’s endangered orcas.

Researchers called it “incredibly lucky” that the whales and the diesel apparently never crossed paths.

The crew aboard the Aleutian Isle radioed for help Saturday, saying they were taking on water.

They abandoned their sinking ship and clambered into the skiff they normally use to maneuver the boat’s purse-like net to capture salmon.

The 58-foot Aleutian Isle sank to the seafloor in more than 100 feet of water about 2 p.m.

A couple hours after the Aleutian Isle went down, whale researchers noticed at least 60 endangered southern resident orcas

Before sunset, members of the orcas’ J Pod were spotted swimming just 5 miles south of the sunken ship.

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