A blue whale was spotted about six miles southwest of Dana point around 12:30 p.m. Monday. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said the whale is believed to be the same one that was spotted about 30 miles from the San Diego coast on Sunday.
Officials also said they believe the 70- to 80-foot whale is entangled in crab trap lines or shrimp fishing gear. If it continues to swim, the mammal could become fatally exhausted.
As daylight began to fade Monday, rescue crews attached a tracking buoy to the whale to follow it overnight, but had to remove it. Crews said it should still have a red buoy attached to it.
They had lost the whale as it dove underwater in the evening hours.