British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2011-11-16 13:16:01

BDMLR frees Entangled Whale off Dunbar - video footage


BDMLR Rescues Netted Humpback Whale off Dunbar




Update 15.00hrs 24.11.11

To see some  footage of the rescue (albeit with slightly inaccurate words), please follow the link here.

Update at 16.47 16.11.11

After an incredibly physical and courageous rescue, the team from BDMLR has been able to free the humpback whale off the coast of Dunbar in Scotland.  The whale had become entangled in lobster pot lines that were anchored to the seabed, threatening to take the animal below the waves as the tide rose, with high tide being around 18.00hrs this evening.

The 40ft humpback whale had been surfacing to breathe before diving below the waves, with its movement severely restricted by the pots. An attending lobster fishing vessel helped to lift the creel lines, allowing volunteer BDMLR medics and RNLI lifeboat crew to cut the lines from their respective boats.

The greater majority of lines were cut and the humpback broke free with just one short line still attached to its pectoral fin that was not deemed to be life threatening. Thanks are due to so many people who helped in this search and rescue mission.


Update at 14.30. 16.11.11

The BDMLR team has now located the humpback whale and are assessing and planning their next move. The whale is entangled in lobster pot lines that are anchored to the sea bed.  A fishing vessel is also on hand in case it is possible to raise the pots, allowing the BDMLR team to sever the line.  More updates will follow.


13.00 16.11.11

Following a report of a whale entangled in prawn fishing gear off St Abbs yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, a BDMLR team was tasked with taking the BDMLR whale distentanglement trailer carrying specialist equipment down to the location.  A prawn fishing vessel, Boy Andrew, had cut their nets to free the 40ft animal, but some gear remained attached and reports from the fishermen said there was a large cut on its tail, possibly caused by the net.

Skywatch Civil Air Patrol provided spotter planes to quarter the area today and although the whale was not seen from the air in the morning, a call was received from the coastguard that a whale, thought to be a humpback whale, was entangled in nets from another fishing vessel, Charlie Boy, 1.5 miles off the coast of Dunbar.

The BDMLR team of Ali Jack, Jamie Dyer, Martin and Michelle Boon were already in Dunbar and are currently making their way out to the whale to first assess the whale prior to planning a rescue attempt.

More medics are on call and ready to assist if required.

Further updates will be made as received.

Stephen Marsh
BDMLR Operations Manager

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