Emergency mission to free humpback whale trapped in rope



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The mission to disentangle a humpback whale caught in rope off the coast in Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula will resume today.

A local fisherman reported the whale yesterday morning near Barwon Heads and the state environment department declared the rescue an "emergency" and sent its team.

"We believe the whale is a humpback whale. We ultimately hope to free the whale by late this afternoon, however, prevailing weather conditions may hinder efforts," regional agency commander David Mifsud said.

The whale was spotted by a fisherman. (9News)
A buoy was attached to the rope to help track the whale. (9News)
The whale could not be freed from the rope yesterday. (9News)
A buoy was attached to the mammal to help track it until the rope can be removed.

A helicopter had been monitoring the whale before deteriorating weather conditions and a lack of visibility made it too unsafe to try the rescue.

Staff will get back to work today to save the whale.

"Members of the public are urged to stay clear of the whale for their own safety and for the mammal's welfare," a department statement reads.

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