Blue whale stuck in fishing net off Palos Verdes coast

PALOS VERDES, Calif. (KABC) -- Rescue efforts to remove a blue whale entangled in netting off the coast of Palos Verdes were temporarily halted Friday night after crews were unable to locate it. The rescue will resume in the morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a whale rescue expert responded to the scene to help the distressed mammal, which was spotted by whale watchers around 1 p.m.

Efforts were initially called off shortly before 6:30 p.m. because the sun was setting, but personnel with the National Marine Fisheries Service attempted to locate the whale in the evening hours. The search was halted when it wasn't found.

Experts feared the whale could be further harmed if they waited until the morning hours to free it.

Capt. Dan Sales, owner of the Harbor Breeze Cruises boat the watchers were on, said rescuers took underwater video of the animal and chose to attach a buoy to it as a way to keep track of it.

Alisa Schulman-Janiger, a whale researcher, said rescuers have specially designed knives to cut the line loose.

Rescuers ask the boating community to report any sightings of the whale Saturday morning to (877) SOS-WHALE so they can come in and reassess its condition.
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