Humpback whale entangled in rope off Shelly Beach, Port Macquarie

Struggling: The humpback whale has been freed from rope but struggle close to shore. Photo: Blake Studders.

Struggling: The humpback whale has been freed from rope but struggle close to shore. Photo: Blake Studders.

2.30pm – A 12 metre humpback whale entangled in rope off Shelly Beach has been freed. A large shark remains in the vicinity of the rescue and the whale is still struggling close to shore.

Marine Rescue Port Macquarie vessel Port Macquarie 30 transported the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Large Whale Disentanglement Team to the location.

The whale remains under close watch.

1:50pm – Rope continues to be cut off, however volunteers are unable to see if there is any more tangling up the whale due to dirty water.

Photo: Ivan Sajko

Photo: Ivan Sajko

The whale is now at the northern end of Shelly Beach as crews continue to aid the animal.

The humpback whale is about 12 metres long is entangled in rope off Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie.

Members of the Large Whale Disentanglement Team based at Port Macquarie have removed a knot of rope from the whale’s pectoral fin.

Rescue operation off Shelly Beach. Photo: Marine Rescue NSW.

Rescue operation off Shelly Beach. Photo: Marine Rescue NSW.

The Marine Rescue Port Macquarie rescue vessel Port Macquarie 30 is keeping a safe distance from the whale.

12:50pm – NATIONAL Parks, with the assistance of Marine Rescue Port Macquarie, are currently attempting to free a whale entangled in rope.

Crews try to free the whale. Photo: Courtesy of Marine Rescue NSW Facebook

Crews try to free the whale. Photo: Courtesy of Marine Rescue NSW Facebook

The whale is located about 200 metres off Shelly Beach. Volunteers from Marine Rescue Port Macquarie have transported a team from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to the location.

The crew of Port Macquarie 30 has spotted a four metre great white shark nearby, which may go in for the tired whale.

“It may beach itself, but it is exhausted,” said Geoff Shelton of Marine Rescue Port Macquarie.

“National Parks are on scene trying to cut the ropes but haven't had much luck. The problem is the shark, who looks like he wants to go in for the kill.

“There's not much that can be done if the shark goes in, and they are hopeful nothing like that does happen. If they can cut the rope free it will swim off, which would be best case scenario.”

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