Trapped humpback whale cut free from fishing ropes

3 weeks ago 26

Close up of the entangled whaleImage source, Marine Discovery Penzance

Image caption,

Hannah Wilson, co-owner of Marine Discovery in Penzance, said humpback whales could get tangled "easily"

A entangled humpback whale has been cut free from fishing rope.

The large adult whale was spotted offshore in Cornwall's Mounts Bay, between Mousehole and Newlyn, on Easter Sunday.

Dan Jarvis, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said the ropes were wrapped between the whale's head and dorsal fin.

The whale, known as Ivy, was successfully cut free by crews from Penlee Lifeboat.

Mr Jarvis said the entangled whale was being "weighed down" by the rope, which was wrapped around its tail.

He said the large mammal was "lucky" it was still able to surface to breathe otherwise it could have had a "very different outcome".

Image source, Marine Discovery Penzance

Image caption,

The whale was "lucky" it was still able to surface to breathe, said Dan Jarvis of BDMLR

Mr Jarvis said BDMLR has its own specialist team which were called to assist the trapped whale on Sunday.

He said attempts to free an animal of this size could be "incredibly risky".

"I really can't understate how dangerous this potentially could be," he said.

"Experienced rescuers in other parts of the world, like Canada, have been killed doing this type of rescue."

The team were later told crews from Penlee Lifeboat had managed to cut Ivy free.

Mr Jarvis said it was "fantastic news".

'Fortunate'

Hannah Wilson, co-owner of Marine Discovery in Penzance, said it was "only a matter of time" before a similar incident took place due to the number of whales which had been "returning to our shores".

She said it was "fortunate" the whale was entangled in Mounts Bay, as it was quickly spotted by members of the public.

"They can get tangled up very easily," she said.

Penlee Lifeboat station confirmed crews "cut the ropes" and with a "thrash of its tail" the whale was freed.

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