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NOAA rescues humpback whale calf

Posted: August 18, 2011 - 10:18am  |  Updated: August 18, 2011 - 9:02pm
NOAA rescued a humpback calf Thursday morning near Lynn Canal.   Provided by NOAA
Provided by NOAA
NOAA rescued a humpback calf Thursday morning near Lynn Canal.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s large whale disentanglement team rescued a baby humpback on Wednesday.

The calf had become entangled in a trailing buoy line.

NOAA spokeswoman Julie Speegle said a charter fishing vessel made the initial report early in the morning when the passengers noticed the calf with its mother near Halibut Cove in Lynn Canal.

Speegle said the team then spent several hours monitoring and assessing the situation to determine if the line could be appropriately cut.

They were able to successfully free the calf between 8 and 9 p.m., she said. This happened just west of Berners Bay.

The team continued monitoring the whale for about 30 minutes after it was freed to make sure it was safe.

Speegle said the responders did notice a piece of line still there but it was not considered life-threatening and that expect it to fall off by itself.

“The mother was very protective and stayed with the calf through the entire ordeal,” Speegle said.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.

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