Off the island of Mallorca in the Balearics, Spanish divers saved a 12-meter-long humpback whale from an illegal drift net.
One of the divers, Gigi Torras, said that the rescue was the “best birthday gift ever” for her.
She also thought the large creature showed respect for her.
She stated to Reuters, “It was like something out of this world.” “It was amazing, just amazing.”
A ship found the whale in distress just three miles (4.83 kilometers) from Mallorca. The ship then contacted the maritime emergency center at the Aquarium in Palma de Mallorca.
The red net had wrapped around the whale so tightly that it couldn’t even open its mouth.
Divers from the Albatros and Skualo diving centers joined the endeavor after initial attempts to cut the net from a boat failed. They entered the water and cut the mesh with their knives for 45 minutes, which was risky.
The owner of the Albatros diving center, Torras, stated, “The first ten seconds, she was a little nervous, like there were bubbles everywhere, but then, I don’t know, call me crazy, but I think she knew we were there to help her, and she just calmed down, and we started working from the front of her mouth backwards.”
Torras stated, “We kept cutting and cutting, and she gave a little wiggle to get out of it.”
To regain strength, the animal stayed with the four divers for some time. Even before swimming away, she made what appeared to be a “thank you” sign.
The United Nations banned the use of drift nets 30 years ago because they caught so many marine species in addition to the intended fish.