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Sonar pinging captured on video

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It is not a sound you would expect to hear while diving and for one diving group the sound was so loud some retreated from the water. As you can hear in underwater video, sonar pings were captured just outside of Rizal Beach in Agat.   

"That is what it is believed to be - my good friends in Hawaii actually had one of his friends who specializes in sonar listen to it and he was able to confirm that it is sonar pinging," explained dive captain Chase Weir. The friend he sent the video to was marine biologist and chief scientist Dr. Mark Deakos of the Hawaii Association for Marine Education. Weir said, "What he did was he forwarded he was really upset about it we haven't been able to scientifically prove that sonar causes that, but it's fairly obvious that there is a correlation between the pinging and these whales running aground."

According to Weir, the noise was heard on March 23 at around 9:45 in the morning. He recalled, "Several dive boats reported the pinging along that whole Orote Peninsula what the issue was nobody felt different but it is definitely irritating while they are diving because you can't really cover your ears so it just made their entire dive uncomfortable some even came up early."

This was the same day and around the same time three beaked whales were stranded in waters off Merizo. Two made it back out to sea with the help of local residents while one whale died. This is also the same day the US Navy confirmed during an interview with KUAM News that sonar was used during a military exercise.

According to Department of Agriculture biologist Brent Tibbats, beaked whales are associated with underwater sounds such as sonar which have caused them to beach themselves in the past. Weir says the sound was not only heard underwater and it wasn't the first time he has heard a sonar ping, having heard the same sound about seven times in the last several years. He added, "Not one of the first we hear it occasionally, but this is definitely the loudest it has ever been and I have been out here seven years out in the water."

"It was so loud you could actually hear it from the boat and I have never heard that before that was the first time I have ever heard it from being above the water and actually hearing pining coming out of the water so it was really intense."

It's not yet known whether in fact the military's recent use of sonar is connected to last week's beaked whales incident. The results of necropsy conducted in Hawaii have not yet been released. However, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is working with the military to address the incident.

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