An adult Humpback whale heavily entangled with rope and buoys around its tail at Jeffreys Bay was successfully set loose by South African Whale Distentanglement (SAWDN) volunteers on Tuesday this week.
In a difficult and delicate disentanglement operation the rope lines around the tail stock were cut using specialised cutting equipment. Upon gaining its natural movement the whale, swam away strongly.
The NSRI said at 2.45 pm on 5 July SAWDN volunteers were activated following eye-witness reports of the whale at Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay. An NSRI Jeffreys Bay Discovery Rescue Runner was launched to keep a visual of the whale while additional equipment SAWDN disentanglement equipment and SAWDN volunteers were activated from NSRI St Francis Bay.
Mike Meyer of the Department of Environmental Affairs (Oceans and Coasts), who is also head of SAWDN, was alerted to offer additional advice to the disentanglement team on the scene.
The NSRI sea rescue craft Eddie Beaumont II and Project Group Rescuer were launched to carry the volunteers and equipment
Meyer said this disentanglement operation is testament of the fantastic co-operation SAWDN has with all its members around the coast who are able to quickly and effectively respond to operations successfully under often trying circumstances.
Rieghard Janse van Rensburg, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander said the 3 floatation buoys and all rope were recovered the operation was completed at 5.30 pm.