A rare humpback whale was rescued by a group of Spanish divers who saved the large mammal from a fishing net it got entangled in. The rescue which took place off the coast of Spain took close to 45 minutes. Officials part of the rescue team had spotted the whale trapped in a red net and according to The Independent, the animal could not even open its mouth.
Staff from the Palma de Mallorca’s Aquarium sprang into action and got ready for the rescue operation. Initially, the team tried to cut the net from their boat itself, but this proved to be unsuccessful. Once this failed, professional divers were brought in from diving centres to help free the large mammal.
According to The Independent, Ms Torras, who owns the Albatros diving centre, recounted how the crew members saw the humpback whale calm down after an initial stage of nervousness.
“The first 10 seconds she got a bit nervous, you know, like bubbles everywhere, but then I don’t know, call me crazy but I think she knew we were there to help her and she just relaxed and we started working from the front of her mouth backwards,” she said.
The diving team spent a long time cutting through the netting, and eventually the whale was also able to wriggle itself out of it.
According to Ms Torras, before swimming away, the mammal even appeared to give a “thank you sign”.
The net the animal was caught in is called a drift net, and it has been banned by the UN 30 years ago due to the dangers it poses to marine life.
The net is highly successful at catching smaller fish, but poses a threat to larger animals such as whales, sharks and dolphins.