Info: Humpback rescue off Oman

Michael Williamson (whe_william@flo.org)
Mon, 19 Feb 1995 14:50:12

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Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 14:37:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Info: Humpback rescue off Oman
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Subj:	Dramatic whale rescue off Oman
 
Date:         Sun, 19 Feb 1995 13:49:00 UTC
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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Subject:      Dramatic whale rescue off Oman
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Dramatic whale rescue off Oman coast
    MUSCAT, Feb 19 (Reuter) - British and Omani divers have
rescued a 20-tonne whale off Oman where it was trapped in
fishermen's nets for 29 days, a statement by an environmental
group said on Sunday.
    Rescuers found the eight-metre (26-foot) long humpback whale
sunburned and bleeding in rough waters off one of Oman's most
inaccessible coastal areas, said a statement by Oman's Whale and
Dolphin Research.
    The rescue mission this weekend was made more dangerous
because the whale was nervous and resisted the divers, it said.
    ``The whale was clearly nervous, blowing whilst still under
water, bucking its head and thrashing its tail.''
    The tail -- ``six feet (1.8 metres) across and frighteningly
powerful'' -- struck one diver in the chest, knocking his
air-supplying regulators from his mouth.
    ``The net had cut deeply into the whale's head and stretched
back along the body, engulfing both flippers. A bundle of ropes,
nets and fishing floats were wrapped right around the body and
hooked over the dorsal fin. Only the tail remained free.
    ``Blood spurted from the whale's nose as the net was cut and
pulled from inch (2.5 cm) deep wounds inflicted over the past
month as the whale had struggled to free itself,'' the statement
said.
    The statement said the whale was set free more than 90
minutes after the start of the rescue.
    The humpback whale, one of about 20 species of whales and
dolphins in Oman waters, is in danger of extinction throughout
the world. It is one of Oman's largest species of marine
mammals.