Crew Goes on Risky Mission to Rescue Gray Whale Tangled in Fishing Net
Today marks Day 2 of the attempt to rescue a 40-foot gray whale tangled up in a fishing net just off the coast of Orange County.
The gray whale was spotted towing 50 to 100 feet of fishing line off the coast of Laguna Beach. Yesterday a crew with the Pacific Marine Mammal Center went on a risky mission to disentangle the whale from the net wrapped around his pectoral fin and mouth, which pose a risk to the otherwise healthy male whale. KTLA has video of yesterday's attempt to free the whale.
It got a little dicey at one point when the crew got too close to the whale, according to Dana Friedman with the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. He told KTLA, "He smacked our boat and we felt it. We saw this whale shaking his tail in a side-to-side fashion, which is something they do if they want to use their tail as a weapon."
The crew was able to remove some of the line but not all of it, which is why they're going back out today for round 2. This is the third rescue that the Pacific Marine Mammal Center has conducted off the coast of Orange County this month. One of the whales eventually died, the Los Angeles Times reports.