Humpback whale rescued in Port Kembla after a grueling rescue mission

A humpback whale trapped in waters south of Sydney near Port Kembla has been freed after a grueling eight-hour rescue mission.

The whale, trapped in a series of lines and floats, proved a challenge for rescuers to free it as weather conditions worsened and other whales in the area thwarted rescue attempts.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers helped free the whale this afternoon.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers helped free the whale this afternoon.Credit: Marine Rescue NSW

“A number of lines and floats poured from the whale,” Glenn Sullivan, inspector at Marine Rescue NSW, told AAP.

A specialist whale disentanglement team from the National Parks Wildlife Service joined the operation just after noon.

But with a southerly wind shift, fading light and other whales in the area, it took rescuers more than eight hours to extricate the mammal, which was unraveled just after 4:30 p.m.

“The rescuers are overjoyed,” said Mr. Sullivan. “It floats under its own power now.”

Whale migration begins in May as the mammals migrate north before beginning their journey south in August. The main season lasts from June to July.

Many holidaymakers along Australia’s east coast are hoping to catch a glimpse of the 40,000 to 50,000 humpback whales expected to pass by this migration season.


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Justin Scaccy

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