Thursday, 2 February 2012

Tangled whale vanishes before help arrives

WAIANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) – Fishermen on two separate boats spotted a whale tangled in marine debris early Wednesday morning. They reported the whale was wrapped in rope and towing three crab pots and a floating flag. It was first spotted off Barber's Point and was seen later near Kaena Point.

The U.S. Coast Guard sent a boat and helicopter hoping to find the whale. A marine specialist from NOAA was on the boat and was hoping to disentangle the whale, but by the time they arrived on scene the whale had vanished.

The rescue effort will resume if the whale is seen again.

"They are going to attempt to try and take the line off the whale if they can locate the whale. If they can't do that, they are going to try and tag the whale so they can track it," said Coast Guard Public Affairs Officer Gene Maestas.

Untangling whales is dangerous work, but scientists are willing to take the risk, especially with humpback whales because they are an endangered species.

It is unknown what kind of whale was seen Wednesday.

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