NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 25-foot rotting whale carcass that floated just offshore of Nanakuli Beach Park has been towed out to sea by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
DLNR officers were able to tie onto the remnants of the rotting sperm whale onto a boat and tow it outside state waters Thursday. The remains were expected to be carried away from Oahu.
Although the carcass is no longer near Nanakuli Beach Park, beach closure and shark warning signs remained posted Thursday.
The carcass came close to shore Wednesday afternoon, attracting sharks who wanted to feed on it and people who wanted to see it.
The 25-foot carcass was first spotted about 9 a.m. about a mile off of Maili Point. By 3 p.m., it had drifted toward Nanakuli Beach.
"The carcass basically floated in from the outside, and from a few people that I talked to, there were some tiger sharks eating off the carcass," said Ocean Safety Lt. Danny Kim.
Lifeguards posted shark warning signs and advised people to stay out of the water.
The carcass floated close enough to shore for big waves to point it against the rocks just south of Depots Beach. That ripped chunks off the main carcass, which then floated to Nanakuli Beach.
"The chunks are going to be floating around for a few days and it's basically going to bring in the big predators," said Kim. "So we don't advised anybody to go in the water at this time."
The carcass also drew spectators.
"It's a once in a lifetime experience, so we thought why not? Come see the whale and maybe catch a glimpse of a shark," said Mililani resident Melanie Sims. "We've seen a fin, and that's it."
But people also caught a whiff of the rotting carcass as it was tossed in the high surf and pounded in the shorebreak.
Nanakuli resident Maile Kolowena came with her daughter to take a look. "We came down and she was smelling and was like, 'What is that smell?' And then she looked and said, 'Oh look ma, the carcass right over there!" said Kolowena.