S.African rescuers free entangled humpback whale

January 24, 2013
A Humpback whale jumps in the waters of the Pacific Oceanon August 21, 2010. South African rescuers free a nine metre (30-foot) humpback whale that was entangled in seven fishing ropes north of Cape Town.

South African rescuers on Thursday freed a nine metre (30-foot) humpback whale that was entangled in seven fishing ropes north of Cape Town.

The juvenile whale was found south east off Dassen Island near Yzerfontein with its mouth snared by one heavy rope.

"We had to first cut away the line through the mouth... as this would have affected the whale's ability to feed in the future," said Mike Meyer of the Department of Environmental Affairs.

During the nearly five-hour rescue operation, the team attached a large flotation buoy to the whale to prevent it from diving below surface as the rescue boat approached.

"The large floatation buoy, kept the whale buoyant enough, and high enough in the water for us to successfully cut away that particular rope that entangled through the mouth," said Meyer.

The rest of the ropes in a bundle on top of the flukes and around the tail stem were also removed.

The whale was not seriously injured and appeared to be "spritely and healthy", Meyer said in a statement released by the SA Whale Disentanglement Network.

Explore further: Crew plans to cut rope to free Hawaii whale

Related Stories

Crew plans to cut rope to free Hawaii whale

December 4, 2009

(AP) -- Marine sanctuary officials planned to return to Hawaii waters with modified equipment Friday to try to cut loose a young humpback whale entangled in several hundred yards of heavy plastic rope.

Entangled gray whale off Calif. freed after chase

March 30, 2012

(AP) -- A migrating gray whale with debris wrapped around its tail was finally freed after rescuers in a small boat chased it along the Southern California coast so they could cut away the fishing traps and lines.

Whale carcass washes ashore in S.Africa

April 12, 2012

The carcass of a 14-metre (46-foot) southern right whale has washed ashore in the south coast tourist town of Knysna, where volunteers Thursday were trying to haul it from rocks and back out to sea.

Northern California fishermen free entangled whale

May 6, 2012

(AP) -- Crab fisherman Mark Anello noticed something odd near his boat off the Northern California coast: three buoys floating nearby were moving. Motoring closer he saw a gray whale tangled in a large fishing line.

Indonesian rescuers free stranded whale

July 29, 2012

Rescuers and navy divers in Indonesia Saturday helped a sperm whale return to the sea after it was stranded in shallow waters off the coast of West Java province for four days.

Recommended for you

Study shows female frogs susceptible to 'decoy effect'

August 28, 2015

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers has found that female túngaras, frogs that live in parts of Mexico and Central and South America, appear to be susceptible to the "decoy effect." In their paper published in the journal ...

Reprogramming the oocyte

August 26, 2015

(Phys.org)—Among other things, the egg is optimized to process the sperm genome. The cytoplasmic factors that make this possible also give the egg the ability to reprogram the nuclei from other kinds of cells if these nuclei ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.