EVERETT, Wash. - When Washington State Ferry workers and captains on a whale tour boat complained about sonar pinging last week, the Navy told them it was standard testing and it could continue on Wednesday. It did, and KING 5 was there to hear it.
The pings were first only audible on a hydrophone, but as they increased in volume, it could be clearly heard with the naked ear. Visitors to the waterfront also heard it and asked if we knew what it was.
A Navy spokesperson referred to it as "Pierside testing of mid-frequency active sonar at Naval Station Everett," and that it, "is routine testing that is a longstanding and ongoing requirement, and is an essential process in preparing a Navy ship to get underway."
The Navy also says it believes the tests are safe for mammals both in the sea and on dry land.
Whale boat captains understand the need for tests but worry they are being conducted just as California Gray Whales are migrating into the Everett area .
Observers on boats said they did not notice any strange behavior by the whales in the area but are still asking the Navy to reconsider the timing and location of the testing.