Search resumes for blue whale tangled in net off Palos Verdes coast

SAN PEDRO, Calif. (KABC) -- Efforts to find and help a blue whale entangled in a fishing net off the coast of Palos Verdes resumed Saturday morning.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Coast Guard rescue crews launched their search at daybreak, but the 75-foot whale was nowhere to be found. Crews have specially designed knives and tools to cut that netting away and free the mammal.

Search efforts were called off Friday evening when it became too dark.

The whale was spotted Friday around 1 p.m. with netting around its fin. Captain Dan Salas with Harbor Breeze Cruises was one of the first to spot the whale.

Salas said the whale was not exhibiting typical blue whale behavior.

"This whale was staying right up on the surface and just swimming real gentle. So, we feel that the whale knows that it has a line on it. Hopefully, the whale understood that help was on the way," Salas said.

Salas said rescuers attached a buoy to it as a way to keep track of it.

It's rare for rescue teams to try and help a blue whale in particular. Neighbors living near the coast say they are watchful and hope that crews will be successful.

Salas said he believes the whale is located somewhere between Point Fermin and Catalina.

Rescuers are asking the boating community to report any sightings of the whale Saturday to (877) SOS-WHALE.
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