PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS MICHAEL DE NYSE / U.S. COAST GUARD
A Coast Guard vessel assisted members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration track a whale calf entangled in fishing gear about 30 miles southwest of Oahu on Friday. Officials said yesterday the whale had freed itself.
Trapped whale works itself free
A whale calf that scientists were tracking to free from discarded fishing gear apparently escaped on its own, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokeswoman said.
"We're really happy that the whale was able to shed the debris by itself," said Wende Goo, NOAA spokeswoman yesterday.
The Coast Guard and NOAA scientists collaborated to free the whale.
A fishing vessel reported the entangled whale at about 12:30 p.m. Friday some 28 miles southwest of Oahu. The Coast Guard cutter Ahi transported a NOAA team to the whale two hours later.
Scientists from NOAA attached a satellite-tracking buoy to the debris that was entrapping the calf and planned to return yesterday to free the whale.
NOAA scientists found the fishing gear and the tracking device yesterday. But the whale was gone.