Whale of a fight: trapped whale freed in Arctic Norway

Published July 2, 2022
THE whale entangled in ropes and a buoy is pictured in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea.—Reuters
THE whale entangled in ropes and a buoy is pictured in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea.—Reuters

OSLO: Norwegian coastguards rescued a whale entangled in ropes off the coast of northern Europe before the animal swam away to freedom, flipping its tail, footage showed.

The mammal was floating listlessly on the surface of the Barents Sea on Wednesday, its tail trapped in ropes and a buoy, when the KV Bison coastguard ship approached it after receiving a tip from the crew of the local ferry company.

“We could see the whale was exhausted, it was completely still,” said Lieutenant Captain Raymond Isehaug, speaking on Friday by phone from on board the KV Bison.

Isehaug sent a four-man crew in a light boat to help the animal.

“We approached it very slowly so as not to stress it ... It was scared and was behaving aggressively,” said Isehaug, who said he believed the animal was a humpback whale.

The footage, posted on the coastguard’s Twitter account, shows a crew member reaching down from the light boat with a knife towards the whale. He can be heard on the video saying in Norwegian: “Are you holding my feet?”

“I initially thought about sending some divers to cut the rope that was underneath the whale but I thought against it given the whale’s behaviour,” said Isehaug.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

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