Posted by: The ocean update | December 30, 2015

Local fishermen and beachgoers save a whale in Chile

rescate-ballena-Iquique-ChileDecember 30th, 2015 (Candy Johansen). Local fishermen and beachgoers in the port city of Iquique, Chile, helped rescue a huge 65-foot whale (Ed Sibylline : 40 foot, in reality) that was stranded on a beach.

The whale measured more than 15 meters in length. Rescuers used a large fishing net to move the whale by rocking it back and forth in order to help it catch the waves. Many of the rescuers were worried that the whale’s condition was going to rapidly deteriorate if they couldn’t free it. Eventually, fishermen tied several thick ropes (Ed Sibylline : and a net) around the whale and pulled it back out to sea. Members of the police and navy helped with the three-hour rescue.

The fishermen were first alerted to the beached whale by Naval officers and members of the police force on Chile’s northern coast. According to the Daily Mail, Marine Rescue Centre “Kaitieki” and the local fishermen teamed up and used their fishing boats to drag the huge whale out about five kilometers, where they then cut the ropes off of the whale and it was able to glide off into the water. Rescuers and beachgoers watched, then cheered with delight when the whale was spotted swimming out into the ocean on its own.

The maritime governor of Iquique, Navio Gaston Guerrero, said, “It is important to highlight the support of the authorities, fishermen and civilians who helped accomplish this difficult but gratifying rescue, showing that by working together they were able to successfully achieve their objective.”

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