Whale of a job for rescuers to help rope-entangled calf
A BRYDE’S whale was helped in a disentanglement operation off-shore of Hangklip in the Western Cape, the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) said.
SAWDN spokesperson Craig Lambinon said that at 11.38am on Friday, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Gordons Bay and NSRI Hermanus were asked to investigate suspicions of a whale having become entangled in rope and a floatation buoy off-shore of Hangklip.
“Eyewitnesses reported seeing a large amount of whales in an area about one kilometre south-east of the Hangklip Hotel, and a flotation buoy in among the whales,” Lambinon said.
“The whales had been there since the early morning, raising concerns that one or more of them may (have become) entangled in fishing rope.”
He said that SAWDN volunteers from Hermanus took the SAWDN cutting equipment with them, aboard two NSRI Hermanus sea rescue craft, South Star and Jaytee III.
A Bryde’s whale (a large calf, close to being weaned) was found with rope entangled around its tail and it appeared as if the same rope was entangled through the mouth of the whale, Lambinon said.
“It appeared that the mother was there, as a large adult whale remained in close proximity, while the SAWDN crew began cutting at the rope to free the entangled whale,” Lambinon said.
“After all the rope was cut free, using specialised cutting equipment, the rope and a floatation buoy was recovered and, with the whale released and swimming freely, the whale joined its mom and they both swam off.
“The whale appeared to be healthy. The eyewitnesses are commended for alerting SAWDN.”
SAWDN head Mike Meyer said this was the first whale helped by the SAWDN. – African News Agency (ANA)
NSRI Gordons Bay and NSRI Hermanus were asked to investigate suspicions of a whale having become entangled in a rope and floatation buoy, off-shore of Hangklip.