Rescuers Disentangle a Whale off Cape Cod, the Seventh this Year

Sep 3, 2015

The Center for Coastal Studies freed the whale on Tuesday

A team of whale experts has disentangled its seventh whale off of Cape Cod this year.

Recreational fishermen east of Chatham saw the nearly 2-year-old humpback wrapped in fishing ropes on Saturday. 

They called for help and stayed with the whale for several hours until rescuers from the Center for Coastal Studies could arrive from Provincetown. 

"Had they not stayed with the whale, there’s no chance we would have found it," the Center's Scott Landry told WCAI.

The seas were too rough to cut the ropes off the whale on Saturday, so they attached a buoy to it that tracks the animal’s location. For the next three days, they watched as the whale swam 100 miles, tied from head to tail with ropes.

"That essentially hog-tied the whale," Landry said. "It had to use its flippers to dog paddle to swim." 

Finally, the rescuers caught up with the whale 30 miles east of Chatham and cut the ropes away. They will watch to see how he fares in the coming months. 

The team tracked the whale for three days before catching up with it to cut the ropes.