Richard Branson Helps Fund Dead Whale Removal

In the works are exclusive submarine rides with the carcass an attraction 2500 feet below the surface

By R. Stickney and Steven Luke
|  Thursday, Nov 24, 2011  |  Updated 7:05 AM PDT
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Raw Footage of Whale Removal from Cove

NBCSanDiego

Lifeguards on surfboards facilitated the removal of the whale from the cove.

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Virgin CEO Pays to Tow Whale

Richard Branson who founded the Virgin companies is helping to pay for the whale's removal. It'll no longer be buried at the Miramar Landfill, rather towed back out to sea on Friday morning and sunk with 4-tons of steel attached to it. Steven Luke reports

Fin Whale Towed to Sea

Lifeguards waited for high tide to tow a 67-foot fin whale off the beach of Point Loma.
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Billionaire Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin companies, is helping foot the bill for the removal of a dead whale along San Diego's coast.

The pregnant fin whale beached itself on the cove near the Point Loma Waste Treatment Plant on Saturday.

Lifeguards waited for high tide Wednesday morning to tow the carcass away from its resting place along the coast to Fiesta Island in Mission Bay.

Just getting the whale from the bay to the beach took several tractors and along the way crews snapped a rope and then a chain.

At Quivira Basin, San Diegans lined the shore of the incoming channel to get a glimpse.

A team of researchers and biologists will dig into the whale's body to learn how it died.  They'll take samples of everything from tissue, blubber, blood, organs and barnacles.

Turns out this whale was larger than first thought 67 feet long. They also believe it was at least 9 years old.

The whale, once destined for burial at the Miramar Landfill, will instead by towed back out to sea on Friday and sunk with four tons of steel attached to it.

Eddie Kisfaludy works for Branson's latest endeavor Virgin Oceanic which is helping to pay for the project.

Virgin Oceanic hopes to use remotely-operated underwater vehicles to capture creatures on video eating the whale for years to come.

Also in the works are exclusive submarine rides with the carcass an attraction 2500 feet below the surface.

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