The Save a Whale Day
This was one of those days that you won’t ever forget.
A group of around 15 divers were visiting from L.A. and i was a guest guide on the boat for the duration of their trip. One day headed out to the the main island of the Catalinas we notice a small fishing vessel coming towards us. We assumed there must be an emergency of some sort and once they reached us we stopped to find out what we could do.
They told us that there was a whale in trouble, caught in a huge piece of fishing nets, covered in small buoys. They asked us if we could go help! Are you kidding!! What diver doesn’t want to help a marine animal in distress.
We followed them out to the west side of the island to find the whale. Of course we all wanted to be a part of a rescue so way too many of us were geared up ready to get in the water. We got in near to the whale but it moved away. It had 2 escorts with it. We realised we had all got a bit too excited and that we should look at another plan. So we got back onboard the boat again.
For Plan B we got just 2 of the staff in their gear and got them to the bow of the boat. Carefully coming closer, the guys, knives at the ready, entered the water almost right on the poor entangled whale.
Then it was like watching a whale rodeo. What a thing to witness. The guys in the water were riding the whale, trying carefully to cut the lines without hurting it. One of their masks was knocked off so he let go and floated off behind. One guy was left. Everyone on the boat was watching with bated breath, hoping for a good outcome. It seemed to go on forever. Then the staff member started moving from the front of the whale towards the tail, slowly, was he getting washed away? He floats off the back of the whale, and as that happens, the net all floats off with him. The whale is free! The cheers on the boat were amazing, hugs all around. The smiles were the biggest i’ve seen. The 3 whales swam off together, and as you hear reported in similar incidents, they did a little display, like a Thank You for their rescuers.
That day we could all say we really saved the whales!
There is just too much debris and plastic and rubbish already in our oceans and causing huge threat to our marine life. Please make sure your rubbish goes in the right place, recycle, reuse, cut down on your non-reusable plastic use. And whenever you walk on a beach or by a river, or anywhere really, pick up that rubbish someone else left and dispose of it correctly. And if you’re diving do the same. Lets help clean up our planet. Every little bit we can do let’s do it! FYI the netting from this incident (very smelly) was disposed of properly after being taken back to land.
Written by Hannah Deighton