Whale set free from ocean bed
Following a report from a passing ship on Sunday morning reporting a whale in distress 40-nautical miles off-shore between Plettenberg BAy and Knysna. A South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteer response team accompanied NSRI lettenberg Bay sea rescue raft Leonard Smith luanched from Plettenberg Bay and NSRI Knysna sea rescue craft Colourpress Rescuer launch as back-up to the Leonard Smith.
Both sea rescue craft arrived at the GPS co-ordinates (provided by the skipper of the passing vessel) at the same time at 13h50 where SAWDN volunteers found a juvenile approximately 14 meter Humpback whale anchored to the sea bed with fishing rope around its tail and a single floatation buoy.
The SAWDN volunteers got to work and the line around the tail was cut which freed the whale from the anchored entrapment and then the floatation buoy was cut. All lines and the buoy cut free were recovered.
The cutting operation took 20 minutes before the whale was freed from the rope and buoys and the whale swam off confidently and we are confident that the operation has been successful and the whale appears to be healthy.
This is the furthest out to sea that a SAWDN operation has been conducted.
Press reslease Craig Lambinon
Spokesperson for the SOUTH AFRICAN WHALE DISENTANGLEMENT NETWORK