SD Coast Guard assists disentanglement of humpback whale

SAN DIEGO – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Petrel assisted with the successful disentanglement of a humpback whale Oct. 25 off the coast of San Diego.

At 9:30 a.m., Oct. 25 watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Diego received a report from the fishing vessel Dos Ballenos of a humpback whale entangled in a lobster trap approximately 7 miles northwest of La Jolla. The trap appeared to be hindering the whale’s ability to swim and dive. 

The National Marine Fisheries Service was notified and a Sea World San Diego crew agreed to respond with a rescue boat that was in the vicinity. Sea World also launched a second rescue boat crew to help with the rescue efforts. 

Initially, Petrel’s crew diverted from a routine patrol to establish a safety zone around the rescue team and affected area.

At 2:02 p.m., the second rescue boat sustained an engine casualty during the disentanglement. Petrel’s small boat crew then embarked Sea World’s rescue team to continue disentangling the whale.

At 3:20 p.m., Petrel’s small boat inadvertently sucked up a buoy float line that was released by Sea World as a locating beacon. When the float line was pulled taut, the entangling line parted and whale was successfully freed.

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