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Humpback whale stuck in Ventura Harbor swam back to ocean, authorities say

Humpback whale stuck in Ventura Harbor swam back to ocean, authorities say
A humpback whale reveals its fluke during a dive close to the Condor Express, which runs daily trips to the outer Santa Barbara Channel to view humpback and blue whales. (Pete Thomas / Los Angeles Times)

A humpback whale that became stuck in Ventura Harbor this weekend found its way back to the ocean, authorities said Sunday.

Crews with the Ventura Harbor Patrol searched by water and land Sunday morning and found no sign of the 35-foot-long whale, said harbor master John Higgins.

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The incident marks the first time a whale has lost its way and ended up in the harbor, he said.

"We are excited and relieved it was able to find its way out," Higgins said.

The sight of the whale swimming in circles between docks in the Ventura Isle Marina on Saturday afternoon drew spectators and television cameras.

Using an underwater microphone, marine biologists with Channel Islands National Park on Saturday broadcast underwater whale calls to lure the mammal out to sea.

The whale is not believed to have been injured, according to the Ventura Harbor Patrol.

Follow @bposton on Twitter.

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