Rescuers free whale entangled in crab pot line

Images courtesy of W.E.T., taken under the authority of NOAA MMHSRP permit #932-1905.
May 15, 2012 1:11:21 PM PDT
Researchers and volunteers Monday rescued a gray whale that was entangled in a crab pot line in Bodega Bay.

Sightseers spotted the 18- to 20-foot juvenile whale off of Dillon Beach near brightly-colored buoys three days in a row, according to The Marine Mammal Center.

The sightseers alerted The Marine Mammal Center on Sunday and a rescue effort was coordinated after the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that the whale was trapped and not just lingering in the area, center officials said.

The rescuers found the whale close to shore in about 25 feet of water with a crab pot line wrapped around its left pectoral fin as well as inside and around its mouth, according to the center.

After about three hours, the rescuers managed to cut away the line and free the whale, center officials said.


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