(Reuters) — Norwegian coastguards rescued a whale entangled in ropes before the animal swam away to freedom, flipping its tail, a video published on Wednesday shows.
The Norwegian Coast Guard posted the video on the coastguard’s Twitter account and shows a crew member reaching down from the light boat with a knife toward the whale.
He can be heard on the video saying in Norwegian to his crew members: “Are you holding my feet?”
The mammal was floating listlessly on the surface of the Barents Sea off the coast of northern Europe, its tail trapped in ropes and a buoy when the KV Bison coastguard ship approached it after receiving a tip from the local ferry company.
Lieutenant Captain Raymond Isehaug, speaking on Friday by phone from on board the KV Bison, said they could see the whale was exhausted as it was completely still.
Isehaug said he sent a four-man crew in a light boat to help the animal who he believed was a humpback whale.
He said the crew approached the animal very slowly so as not to stress it because it appeared scared and was behaving aggressively.
It took some 10 to 15 minutes for the coastguards to disentangle most of the ropes from around the whale, which was tied to a buoy from the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, Isehaug said.
The whale then dived and flipped its tail, splashing and spraying water before swimming away.
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