At 14h12, Monday, 15th September, The South African Whale Disentanglement Network was activated to respond to approximately 18 nautical miles off of St Francis Bay following reports of a 10 meter juvenile Humpback whale entangled in rope and buoys.
The NSRI St Francis Bay sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF ST FRANCIS II responded carrying volunteer members of SAWDN.
On arrival on-scene the whale was found to be entangled in 3 loops of rope around its caudal peduncle at the tail and held buoyant by a flotation buoy while appearing to be anchored to traps at the end of the line on the ocean floor. One cut, using the specialised whale disentanglement equipment, through two of the ropes immediately set the whale free of all of the rope and the whale swam off appearing to be healthy and diving confidently and we are confident that this operation has been successful and that the whale has survived.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with radio communications. The operation was completed by 18h00.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN WHALE DISENTANGLEMENT NETWORK IS A VOLUNTEER NETWORK THAT BEGAN IN 2006 MADE UP OF VOLUNTEERS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS – OCEANS AND COASTS, NSRI, THE DOLPHIN ACTION AND PROTECTION GROUP, SA NATIONAL PARKS, THE SA POLICE SERVICES, TELKOM MARITIME RADIO SERVICES, RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS, THE NATAL SHARKS BOARD, TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARKS, WEST COAST WILDLIFE RESCUE AND A HOST OF VARIOUS MARINE AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS.