We are honored to play a small role in this very important mission. All the best to the team @ Dana Point! https://t.co/3HQVjSo8bT
— Spyderco, Inc. (@SpydercoKnives) June 29, 2016
Whale entanglements are up significantly this year, but it is rare for the deep-water dwelling blue whale to encounter fishing gear. A Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari first discovered the whale Monday and alerted authorities. They have been updating the situation on their Facebook Page. Crews worked furiously to free the whale, utilizing the Spyderco Whale Rescue, but lost track of it at nightfall. Searchers were unable to locate the whale Tuesday or Wednesday.
From Washington Post:
In a first of its kind attempt on the West Coast to free a blue whale, an endangered species that officials say rarely becomes entangled, a fleet of rescue boats from local business and law enforcement set out into the Pacific. For hours on Monday, they tracked the struggling whale, Reuters reported, at times getting close enough to dip long poles into the water while the animal surfaced to breathe. At the end of the pole were cutters, used to slice away at the entanglement.
But the whale grew agitated, officials said, and eventually dove deep below the surface and out of sight. Rescuers stopped looking at nightfall, removing a tracking device they’d placed on the whale, reported CNN, and vowing to resume their search the following day.
But by the end of the day Tuesday, rescuers were unable to relocate the whale and remove the entanglement, according to an update on the safari Facebook page.
“The whale was last seen heading south, and NOAA has alerted San Diego, but the whale could be anywhere,” a post on the page said.