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

Honeybees threatened by virulent virus

June 30, 2016

Researchers have found that honeybees in Europe are at significantly higher risk from an emerging viral variant, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Deceptive sexual signals keep the peace in a bonobo society

June 29, 2016

Female bonobos could have become the dominant sex in their societies by deceiving males as to when they are likely to conceive, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. The females' ...

UK wildlife calendar reshuffled by climate change

June 29, 2016

Climate change is already reshuffling the UK's wildlife calendar, and it's likely this will continue into the future, according to new research published this week in the journal Nature.

Mountaineering ants use body heat to warm nests

June 29, 2016

For their colonies to survive at high altitudes, army ants keep their underground nests as much as 13 degrees F warmer than surface temperatures, according to a new study by Drexel University scientists.

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.