An entangled humpback whale has been rescued through the efforts of trained responders near Maui, Hawaii, on Friday.
The whale was first spotted by a fishing vessel’s captain on Thursday, and rescue teams then went to the scene.
According to federal and state authorities, due to sunset approaching, a tracking buoy was put on the braided line caught in the whale’s mouth, CBS affiliate KGMB-TV reports. Before they left, however, ABC 7 reports approximately 33.5 metres of line was removed.
On Friday, rescuers returned on a small inflatable craft shown in a video from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and continued to remove the line.
During one moment in the video, a rescuer can be heard saying, “He’s fluking so we’ve got to do something fast,” before quickly working to unravel the line as the whale uses its tail, also called its flukes, to propel itself through the water.
ABC reports they used steady tension on the line, as well as the whale’s heads-up-orientation to remove the line.
Once the whale was free, the boat attempted to stay with the animal to collect the braided line.
Officials say the whale has an excellent chance of surviving.
The gear will be analyzed, according to CBS, to determine where it came from.