Whale freed after being caught in ropes off Cape Point

2016-08-07 22:01
NSRI officials and volunteers attempting to free a humpback whale. (Supplied, NSRI)

NSRI officials and volunteers attempting to free a humpback whale. (Supplied, NSRI)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – A whale caught in flotation buoys and fishing ropes was successfully freed on Sunday, the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) said.

In a statement, spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the SAWDN were alerted to the incident on Saturday by a local fishing ski boat crew off Cape Point.

Mike Meyer, head of SAWDN, said the 8.5m juvenile humpback whale was found trapped on the seabed, entangled in ropes and flotation buoys. The creature appeared to be caught in a rope anchored to rock lobster nets, he said.

Lambinon said least five ropes were entangled around the flukes and tail of the whale.

“The rope was twisted and entangled… and although the whale had minimal movement [it] kept avoiding the efforts by SAWDN to cut at the rope by diving below.”

Strong and healthy

Lambinon said the operation on Saturday evening became hazardous as the whale continued diving. The operation was suspended at 19:00.

On Sunday Lambinon said the animal was found where it was left the previous day. He added that a larger vessel was called in to assist rescue efforts.

According to Lambinon, Gary Nel, an octopus permit holder, volunteered to launch their deep sea fishing vessel, Albatross, from Kalk Bay Harbour to join in the rescue operation.  

“Once on-scene the crew aboard the Albatross were able to lift the lines… leading towards the whale while the SAWDN volunteers cut on the lifted lines.”

Lambinon said the animal was then freed and appeared to be "strong and healthy".

Read more on:    cape town  |  whales  |  marine life

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.