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Humpback whale swims free as rescuers win race against time

Scott Emerson & Neil Breen
Article image for Humpback whale swims free as rescuers win race against time

A young humpback whale bound by shark nets for two days has been freed. 

Nine News reporter Mackenzie Colahan told Scott Emerson rescue teams were able to free the whale 55 kilometres out to see.

“There was just some that was wrapped so tightly they weren’t able to cut all of it off.

“But after monitoring the whale for a period of time, they said it was swimming freely, they were happy that it was going to safe and it was left to go on its way.”

Press PLAY below to hear the full update from Mackenzie Colahan

EARLIER

A marine biologist has expressed his doubts rescue efforts for the young humpback whale trapped in shark nets off the Gold Coast will result in success today.

The whale was first sighted yesterday morning, with rescuers discovering the animal bound by net, rope and chain, particularly around its tail.

Marine scientist Olaf Meynecke told Scott Emerson the situation is common for whales, as they roll when encountering entrapments.

Mr Meynecke said the whale has likely shaken the net’s anchors, allowing it to leave the Australian continental shelf and cause further headaches for rescue teams.

“I’m a bit worried by that small time window that they have, just because the travel time to the animal is already between two and three hours.

“I’d be surprised if that was successful today.”

Press PLAY below to hear the marine biologist’s prognosis for the whale 

A mission to free a young humpback whale caught in nets off the Gold Coast has resumed this morning.

Teams from Sea World and the Fisheries Department spent all day trying to release the whale yesterday at Snapper Rocks.

They were unable to disentangle the whale before night fell.

They attached a satellite tracker to the whale so they could continue their efforts today.

Nine News reporter Mackenzie Colahan told Neil Breen crews were basically working from sunrise to sunset yesterday.

He said it was a complex task for rescuers, with a lot of rope still around the whale’s tail.

Press PLAY to hear the latest update


“The news overnight, is that the young humpback has been partly freed overnight, rescuers spent the day working on it, but its tail remained tangled,” Neil Breen explained.

Press PLAY below to hear the update from Neil Breen

Image: Nine News 

Scott Emerson & Neil Breen
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