In Images: Humpback Whale Rescued

Buoys and line

humpback whale, endangered animals, sanctuaries

(Image credit: Nicole Davis | HIHWNMS | NOAA MMHSRP permit #932-1905)

A humpback whale entangled in fishing gear at the Hawaiian Islands Humback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. The whale was first spotted on March 8, 2013, and a rescue mission was mounted.

Removing the lines

humpback whale, endangered animals, sanctuaries

(Image credit: Rachel Finn HIHWNMS | NOAA MMHSRP permit #932-1905)

Rescuers used a fixed knife on a pole to cut the line off the entangled whale.

To the rescue

humpback whale, endangered animals, sanctuaries

(Image credit: HIHWNMS | NOAA MMHSRP permit #932-1905)

The humpback whale followed by the response team in an inflatable. It took two tries to fully detangle the whale from the 200 feet of line and two buoys attached to it.

A different view

humpback whale, endangered animals, sanctuaries

(Image credit: HIHWNMS | NOAA MMHSRP permit #932-1905)

Rescuers cut away 40 feet of line on their first rescue attempt and attached a satellite buoy to the whale, which allowed them track the whale to make their second, and last, attempt on March 11.

Under the sea

humpback whale, endangered animals, sanctuaries

(Image credit: HIHWNMS | NOAA MMHSRP permit #932-1905)

An underwater image of the humpback whale with the fixed knife on a pole.