Rescuers free whale from fishing ropes

2012-07-18 20:34

Cape Town - South African rescuers on Wednesday freed a 9m humpback whale which was entangled in fishing ropes for hours in the sea near Cape Town, officials said.

"About 20m of rope was entangled around the whale, around both tail flutes and looped around to the right pectoral flipper with a small flotation buoy trailing about another metre of rope," said David Hurwitz, a volunteer with South Africa's Whale Disentanglement Network.

He said the whale appeared "tired and uncomfortable" during the rescue efforts, adding that the mammal was "reasonably co-operative" during the rescue.

"The operation was made difficult by the rope mostly extending underneath the whale, forcing the sea rescue boat, at times, to have to get up and on top of the whale in order for us to reach the rope," he said.

Although the whale suffered some cuts and scrapes, it looked healthy, he added.

"Once the rope was cut the whale swam off strongly and fully extending its torso to its full length as it dived and looking completely comfortable in its element," Hurwitz said.

Last year rescuers saved an 11m humpback whale which had caught its torso and flipper in ropes attached to rock lobster traps on the seabed.

  • herman.mouton - 2012-07-18 21:17

    Good news for a change!!!

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-18 21:59

      Yes indeed...More photo's please

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-07-18 22:06

    Well done.... to all...that made this happen...LETS HAVE A WHALE OF A TIME :-)

  • phae.rayden - 2012-07-18 22:13

    Thanks guys, you are Superhero's!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-07-19 10:21

    Bless them. Now get rid of all the rubbish floating in the water.

  • Frank - 2012-07-19 10:38

    Wow thanks guys really happy to see something good and positive for a change

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