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Entangled Whale Freed off Manasquan Inlet

Marine mammal experts have freed a young whale off the Manasquan Inlet and expect him to survive his ordeal.

The Coast Guard maintains a safety zone around an entangled whale approximately two miles east of Manasquan Inlet,
The Coast Guard maintains a safety zone around an entangled whale approximately two miles east of Manasquan Inlet, (US Coast Guard)

The Point Pleasant Patch reports that crews from a Massachusetts company tasked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association with freeing the juvenile humpback discovered 25-30 feet of fishing line him. They used inflatable boats to get as close to the whale, which is thrashing about in the water, and cut the line starting at the head and working back to the tail.

Scott Landry, a leader of the rescue effort, says workers used a knife at the end of a 30-foot pole to slice through rope that was wrapped around both sides of the whale’s tail.

Although it had been injured by the rope cutting into it, Landry says the whale swam off rapidly and should be fine.

The Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Mass., was leading the rescue since the whale was discovered on Thursdsay.  The group is a member of NOAA Fisheries Large Whale Disentanglement Network and is experienced and authorized in this type of whale rescue.

Authorities had set up a 300-foot cordon around the whale to keep onlookers away.

“We want to keep people out of the area so they don’t impede the rescue effort,” she said. “It’s a large animal and it is in distress, and we don’t want the animal, our rescuers or any member of the public to risk injury.”

The animal was too far out to sea to be seen from the shoreline. The whale appeared to be between 2 to 5 years old and appears to be 50 feet long.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

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