San Diego

SeaWorld Rescue Team Disentangles Humpback Whale in La Jolla

It took four hours for the team to disentangle the large mammal

SeaWorld San Diego’s rescue team said they disentangled a humpback whale stuck in fishing gear and rope off the La Jolla coast on Friday.

The 35-foot humpback whale, first spotted by a local birdwatcher, was reportedly being weighed down by six fishing pots and about 900 feet of rope on Friday, SeaWorld San Diego said.

It took four hours for the team to disentangle the large mammal about a mile from Scripps Pier on La Jolla Shores, they said.

A spokesperson said the whale would have died from not being able to swim and find food.

Once the fishing gear was removed, the whale was observed swimming in a northwesterly direction.

SeaWorld thanked local lifeguards, the birdwatcher Gary Nunn and the crew of “McGhee Marie” who helped retrieve the gear from the ocean.

SeaWorld San Diego is part of the larger network that is directly involved with NOAA Fisheries and California Department of Fish & Wildlife.

SeaWorld said its rescue team has specific large-whale entanglement response training and works under the authority of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the government agency that oversees the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.

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