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OPERATION CENTRE (EOC)

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At 10h40, Friday, 24th June, the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteers were activated following reports of a juvenile Humpback whale entangled in fishing rope approximately 200 meters off-shore of Millers Point.

The Pisces dive boat stood by alongside the whale while awaiting the arrival of the SAWDN team.The NSRI Simonstown sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II was launched and they located the whale then collected additional SAWDN volunteers from the Millers Point slip way.

On arrival on the scene a 7 meter juvenile Humpback whale was found with fishing rope entangled through its mouth, around the right flipper and around its tail, anchoring the whale to the sea floor effectively trapping it under water.

The fishing vessel Albatross assisted in lifting fishing lines and fishing traps from the sea bed in an effort to assist the SAWDN team to reach lines that needed to be cut in order to free the whale from the entrapment to the sea bed and the crew of the Albatross were thanked for their assistance.

The disentanglement operation, using the specialised disentanglement equipment, included cutting through two ropes before the animal was freed from its entrapment and freed of the ropes.Mike Meyer, head of SAWDN, and from the Department of Environmental Affairs - Oceans and Coasts, said that it appears that the whale is healthy and it swam off strongly and all indications are that the animal has survived.

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Picture: SAWDN/NSRI

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Picture: SAWDN/NSRI

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Picture: Steven McCue

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Picture: Steven McCue

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