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WHALE SAVE YOU; volunteers free tangled up humpback Divers stop ocean giant from being drowned by lobster pot.

Byline: LAURA ELVIN

AN EXHAUSTED whale has been cut free from fishing gear just in time as it fought in vain to release itself.

Footage recorded by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue showed them working for hours off Westray Island, Orkney, to help the humpback.

The 40ft whale had spent up to a week battling to keep its blowhole above water as it was dragged to the seabed by a lobster pot. It was losing its fight when volunteers, alerted by a fisherman, arrived to help the magnificent creature.

They hung off the side of boats with their heads in the water to cut it free.

Against the odds, it survived the ordeal to swim off into the deep.

Noel Hawkins from Ullapool, Cromarty, said: "It was managing to lift its head up and down but it was distressed when we first got to it.

"It was trumpeting and breathing very fast. We had to be really careful. It's not just dangerous for us but it's dangerous for the animal too.

"There was scarring on the tail and down its back.

"It had been pulling on it for a while."

CAPTION(S):

LIFESAVERS The volunteers hung from the side of their boats as they battled to free the whale tangled up in lines attached to the lobster pot

STRESS Whale was weak and struggling when the team reached it

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Title Annotation:News; Teasers
Author:LAURA ELVIN
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 9, 2019
Words:230
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