Although hopes are dwindling to find an ailing killer whale alive, the effort continues Friday.
The U.S. Coast Guard 13th District Pacific Northwest division says a search that started Thursday, which includes a helicopter crew from Port Angeles and several National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers, has resumed for J50.
Scientists declared J50, a member of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population, missing and presumed dead late Thursday afternoon after efforts to find the three-and-a-half-year-old orca came up empty.
The whale, also known as Scarlet, was last season Sep. 7 west of San Juan Island and is one of 75 remaining members of the southern resident whale population.
Thursday, the coast guard says there were up to 60 whales from the J, K and L pods seen near Race Rocks southwest of Victoria, but J50 was not sighted with them.
NOAA Fisheries has requested aircraft and mariners pay attention is on Rosario Strait and the south end of Georgia Strait to the Canadian border.
The orcas have been spotted there for two straight days.
Officials say Scarlet may be alive and separated from her pod or lagging significantly behind and if she is found, a temporary perimeter will be set up around the whale for NOAA officials to respond.
J50 has been the focus of an international rescue mission since she appeared malnourished, and veterinarians say efforts to treat the whale with medication doses in the field have been unsuccessful.
The coast guard says J50 is 13-feet long and weighs about 550 kilograms.