SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) – Rescuers Sunday finally freed a humpback whale which had gotten entangled in fishing line off the coast of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and then swam more than 50 miles south to Dana Point over a period of just two days.
With help from a team from SeaWorld San Diego, marine rescuers used knives on poles to cut free a humpback whale who was first seen entangled in fishing line off Point Furman Saturday afternoon.
Peter Wallerstein, director of the Marine Animal Rescue project in Los Angeles County, told CBS2 that the whale was freed near Dana Point. A little fishing line was left in the whale’s mouth, but it appeared to be doing well, Wallerstein said.
The process was made more difficult because the whale kept deep diving, officials said. Rescue teams managed to get a tracking device on the whale to help them track it during the rescue operation.
Capt. Eric Combs, who guides a whale-watching cruise, spotted the entangled whale Saturday.
“It was very lethargic. It was sitting at the surface a lot, which is not typical for a whale,” Combs said. “No deep dives.”
Combs said the whale appeared to be about 30 feet long. He also believes the whale was swimming through lobster traps when it became entangled.