A California gray whale caught in a fishing net off the Laguna Beach coastline swam free Monday after volunteers worked around the clock to save the mammal.
The 50-foot net took the lives of one sea lion and two leopard sharks, but the whale, which had been tangled since last week, managed to escape with the help of volunteers.
Dolphinsafari.com chronicled the entire episode in this video.
Whale watchers spotted the tangled whale last Friday, and Dave Anderson of Captain Dave's Dolphin & Whale Safari and a group of volunteers set out to try to help and track it until more volunteers could arrive.
The crew attached buoys to the netting to help keep track of the whale until it could be freed. Suddenly the buoys were pulled under water.
“After about a minute, the buoys shot up to the surface, and then we didn’t see the whale, and all of the sudden the whale came up, and it was free,” said Anderson. “It was free of the net, and it was like a miracle.”
Anderson, author of “Lily, A Gray Whale's Odyssey,” called for an increased awareness of the plight of dolphins and whales that die every day in fishing nets.