LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Rescuers who removed 150 feet of rope from a humpback whale entangled in fishing gear off the California coast said Saturday that they hoped to remove the rest of the netting but weren’t sure if the animal would resurface close enough to shore.
A rescue team with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was able to cut away some of the line late Friday after hours of trying, but about 100 feet of rope is still trailing from the whale. Rescuers are especially concerned because the rope appears to be stuck in the whale’s mouth, which will make it hard for it to eat, Jim Milbury, a NOAA spokesman, said Saturday.
The whale dove deep after the team did its work, and authorities aren’t sure where it will show up again — if at all.
A whale watching vessel reported the entangled whale Friday morning.
Rescuers are asking boaters to notify authorities if they spot the whale over the weekend.