Entangled whale rescued from fishing gear of California coast.

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Crab fisherman Calder Deyerle and his 5-year old son, Miles reported the entangled whale to rescue teams.

In today’s feel-good story, crab fisherman Calder Deyerle and his son discovered a humpback whale entangled in lines from their pots. They immediately reported the incident to authorities who dispatched California Whale Rescue to assist.

From California Whale Rescue:

Evaluation by the response team determined the entanglement involved heavy line from a crab pot system wrapped around both sides of the whale’s flukes. Entanglements of this kind can lead to eventual amputation of the flukes, and possible death of the animal.

A telemetry buoy to track the whale by satellite was attached to the line for relocation of the animal in case the disentanglement effort continued the following day.

The team was able to thoroughly assess the entanglement and cut the whale free less than seven hours after the whale had initially been reported.

The team captured identifying fluke and dorsal fin photographs and retrieved the fishing gear that had entangled the whale.


I do not have independent confirmation as to the model of knife used to free the whale, but it is entirely possible that it was a Spyderco Whale Rescue Knife. This is a hooked knife specially designed for the purpose. It slides between the whale and the entangling line, with serrations to rip at the offending cordage. Basically, it is a Spyderco Rescue (A knife I have owned and used on seatbelts) on steroids – and mounted to a pole.

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A rescuer approaches an entangled whale (photo from Spyderco)

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Spyderco Whale Rescue Knife close up. (photo from Spyderco)


  1. Sam L. says:

    Good for Spyderco!

  2. John F. MacMichael says:

    Rather cool to think that there is a blade purpose made for rescuing whales.

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Entangled whale rescued from fishing gear of California coast.

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