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Humpback Whale Rescue Video
updated: May 16, 2014, 11:00 AM

By the Dedicated Staff of edhat.com

A humpback whale that was found tangled in the Monterey Bay with a 300 pound crab trap was freed on Thursday off of the Santa Barbara coast, reports KSBW.

A camera recorded rescuers as they freed the whale, watch below.

Peggy Stap of the Monterey area Marine Life Studies discovered the whale on April 27 when she noticed buoys following the humpback. On April 28, a Whale Entanglement Team composed of NOAA officials and marine biologists was dispatched to the whale while it was in the Monterey Bay. They discovered it was being weighed down by a 300-pound crabpot which prevented it from diving to feed.

According to the rescuers, three other humpback whales swam up to seemingly check on their friend's well-being. They were able to cut away the crabpot but due to strong wind gusts they were forced to stop before cutting away the rope tangled on its tail. Before leaving the team placed a tracker on the whale to cut the rope when the weather was calmer.

On Thursday the whale was tracked off of Santa Barbara, tired and still tangled. "The whale was absolutely exhausted and had been through so much. It had traveled 684 nautical miles since we found it in Monterey," Stap said.

The rope was wrapped so tightly around its tail, the tail would have been severed if it was left on much longer. Stap said there was no doubt that the whale was going to die if the rope was not released.

Rescuers cut all remaining rope from the whale before 9 a.m. Thursday, and the humpback swam away into the blue Pacific Ocean, finally free. Stap and other whale experts are confident the humpback will fully recover.

"We are almost positive. They have a remarkable ability to heal. It wouldn't have made it if we didn't remove the rope," Stap said. "It was so gratifying to see that whale swim free."

(Source: KSBW)

Below is a video of first rescue attempt on April 28th in Monterey.


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