Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Coast guard assist a humpback whale, remove pieces of fishing net and net floats from its tail fin

By Staff

  • A humpback whale in distress This photo of a humpback which had gotten tangled up in fishing gear in Faxaflói bay was taken in 2015. Guides from whale watching companies in Reykjavík managed to free the whale at the time. Photo/Whale Safari.

The crew of the Coast Guard vessel Þór came to the rescue of a humpback whale in distress while patrolling the Westfjords yesterday evening. ICE-SAR in the Westfjords had notified the Coast Guard that a humpback whale had been spotted in Dýrafjörður fjord which appeared to be dragging pieces of torn fishing nets and net floats from it's tail fin. 

Read more:  Attempts made to free a humpback whale that had gotten tangled in fishing gear: Photos

The whale was first spotted yesterday afternoon swimming in the mouth of Dýrafjörður fjord. According to eye witnesses it appeared to be in significant distress, as the pieces of netting and the net floats stopped it from diving. After Iceland Search and Rescue in the Westfjords contacted the Coast Guard for assistance, the Coast Guard vessel Þór was dispatched to the area. 

Whale forgot to say thanks
According to a statement from the Coast Guard the vessel arrived in Dýrafjörður shortly after nine yesterday evening, spotting the whale. Crew members armed with the appropriate equipment took a zodiac boat to the whale. The rescue operation only took 20 minutes. After all the netting and net floats had been cut from the whale's tail fin it immediately dived to the depths, "failing to thank the crew, as it was probably overjoyed to be free again," according to the statement from the Coast Guard.

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