At 08h32. Saturday, 08th June, SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteers launched from Simonstown harbour aboard two NSRI Simonstown sea rescue craft, Spirit of Safmarine III and Spirit of Surfski II, following reports from a crew on a rigid inflatable boat and other eye-witnesses of a whale entangled in fishing rope lines in the vicinity of Millers Point between Simonstown and Cape Point.
On arrival on the scene we found a Humback whale calf entangled in rope around its body and fins and anchored to the sea bed. A larger whale was present which we suspect to be a family member of the calf.
Quickly and methodically the SAWDN technical crew, using the specialised cutting equipment, cut away at the rope wraps and we estimated 10 to 12 cuts were made freeing the whale from the entanglement and freeing the whale from the entrapment.
The whale appeared to be healthy and swam off strongly accompanied by the larger whale and SAWDN are confident that the operation has been successful.
NSRI commend the crew of the RIB who stayed on the scene until we arrived.
Later 2 whales were reported by eye-witnesses who were suspecting the whales to be beaching near to Boulders Beach, Simonstown. NSRI Simonstown were dispatched to investigate and they were found to be 2 whales appearing to be enjoying riding in the waves but we could not confirm one of the whales was the calf that we had rescued earlier.
The South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) was established in 2006 in order to manage entangled whales using specialized equipment and is comprised of trained volunteers from the – National Sea Rescue Institute, KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Department of Environmental Affairs, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, Centre for Sustainable Oceans at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Nature, Mammal Research Institute, South African National Parks, South African Police Service, Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Cape Nature, Bayworld, various Boat Based Whale Watching and Shark Cage Diving Operators, the Rock Lobster Industry and the Octopus Industry and fully supported by the Dolphin Action and Protection Group.
SAWDN COVERS THE ENTIRE SA COASTLINE