A humpback whale tangled in discarded fishing lines has been rescued.
It happened in the waters of Scapa Flow, between the north of the Scottish mainland and the islands of Orkney. The rescue of the whale was filmed by David Woodcock, whose family had won an auction prize of a boat trip with Orkan Adventures.
Mr. Woodcock told BBC Scotland that Orkan’s Skipper Magnus Spence initially went into the water with his snorkel and the whale appeared to be tangled in creel lines, ropes attached to cages on the seabed used to catch lobsters and crabs.
He then put on his diving gear and cut the ropes, freeing the whale.
Mr Woodcock said:
When we got close to it, it became apparent that it was in some sort of distress and Magnus dived in to see what the problem was.
Having decided that it had become tangled in old creel lines, Magnus returned. This may have been rather foolhardy as we were not sure what kind of beastie it was at this time.
He managed to cut the ropes free and released the whale which then shot off without even the good grace to come closer for another good photo opportunity.
When asked on local radio if he was at all scared, Magnus said that he was the one carrying the knife; the whale was unarmed. He described freeing the humpback whale as not the highlight of the day. That was spotting another creature which remains unidentified but had the appearance of a Whale Shark, unknown in these waters.
Watch — the whale is spotted:
Magnus in the water on his way to release the whale from the ropes that it was tangled in.
Radio Orkney interview with Woodcock and Magnus:
Photo credit: Youtube screengrab