Teamwork to the rescue

Rescue: entangled in ropes and floats, this humpback whale was freed from its fetters thanks to the efforts of the public and the Department of Environment and Conservation. Pictures: Leighton De Barros
Rescue: entangled in ropes and floats, this humpback whale was freed from its fetters thanks to the efforts of the public and the Department of Environment and Conservation. Pictures: Leighton De Barros

Doug Coughran, the Department of Environment and Conservation’s large whale disentanglement response team leader said the public helped them disentangle the 10-metre humpback whale.

A commercial fisherman reported the whale, which had heavy ropes and several floats wrapped tightly around its body and tail, and stayed on site until the DEC arrived.

‘The DEC would not have found the whale had the fisherman not stayed with the whale, which can be difficult depending on weather and fuel,’ Mr Coughran said.

Mr Coughran also thanked the Two Rocks Volunteer Sea Rescue group for ensuring the DEC could reach the animal, satellite tag it, disentangle the fishing debris and get back to port safely.

‘These successful operations highlight the important role the coastal community plays in sighting and notifying the DEC of entangled whales,’ he said.

‘This was the first whale this season that DEC has been able to reach and disentangle,’ he said.

There was also an attempt to disentangle a second humpback whale sighted off City Beach on Sunday afternoon but the whale could not be found before nightfall.

Watch the video here.