Entangled Humpback Whale In Maui Freed By Rescuers

Humpback Whale Caught

The humpback whale entangled in heavy crab line and buoys off the leeward coast of Muai was freed on Friday by a response team from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

The team pulled up alongside the whale in an inflatable craft and used a pole equipped with a hook knife to saw through the lines, freeing the entangled whale.

The crew attached additional buoys to the 45-ton creature in order to prevent it from diving while they sawed through the lines.

Ed Lyman, the sanctuary’s large whale entanglement response coordinator, was quoted by West Hawaii Today as having said that there wasn’t any “sudden thrashing” but the trumpet blows indicated that it was under stress.

There was no sudden thrashing. It would trumpet blow, which is a sign of stress (…) It definitely wasn’t happy with us being there. It didn’t understand.

The whale was first reported off the Hamakua coast by helicopter tour companies on Feburary 13, 2015.

Numerous state and federal agencies aided in the successful rescue effort. A combination of tour boats and tour helicopters also aided in spotting and tracking the whale throughout the week.

After rescuers freed the whale, they noticed that all of the lines with the exception of a small piece which was lodged in a wound had been removed, however, Lyman noted that the line fragment would fall out naturally as the wound eventually healed.

Are you glad rescuers were able to free this humpback whale from the confines of the gear in which it became entangled?

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