Coast Guard, biologists free whale from line

Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- A Coast Guard patrol boat crew and biologists from the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding network freed a humpback whale Saturday that had become entangled in a shrimp pot line in Taiya Inlet between Skagway and Haines.

Fisherman Frank Terracciano first reported the whale tangled in his shrimp pot line and alerted rescuers.

The Coast Guard said the whale, about 35-feet long, was anchored by shrimp pots and their lines that had wrapped around the forward half of the whale.

A Coast Guard crew from the cutter Liberty used a rigid haul inflatable boat to approach the whale. Biologists Chris Gabriele of Glacier Bay National Park and Jan Straly of Sitka used sharp hooks to try to cut the rope.

The biologists and two Coast Guard crew members were able to free the whale after three hours.

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