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A juvenile humpback whale was rescued from fish net entanglement by the Coast Guard last week in the Atlantic Ocean off the Manasquan Inlet.
The young marine mammal had been caught in a net from the fishing vessel Endurance at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Friday morning, according to Marc Belizaire, chief boatswain mate at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach.
The Endurance crew had notified the Coast Guard soon after they realized the whale became entangled. Further information was not available about the Endurance, its captain or home port.
The whale had become entangled approximately two miles off the Manasquan Inlet.
Chief Belizaire said that luckily, a patrol boat was in the area and the crew was able to make it to the scene in a swift manner.
He said that when the Coast Guard receives calls like this, typically by the time they are able to get to the scene, the whale is unfortunately already dead.
Luckily, this time, the Coast Guard crew managed to get to the whale in time. Chief Belizaire described the net as being tangled around its tail.
Petty Officer Brandon Will and Seaman Kristopher Perez worked to get the whale’s tail above the water surface so they could free it from the net.
“There were no complications, but this was not standard procedure,” Chief Belizaire said, describing how it was difficult to maneuver both the Coast Guard vessel and the whale in a way to not harm either.
Ultimately, the whale was successfully disentangled and set free back into the ocean.
Chief Belizaire said, “Anytime we get a chance to save a whale’s life is huge.” He said it was “awesome” to be able to save the animal’s life.
For more on this story, read the next edition of The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.
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