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Diver Saves Imperiled Bryde’s Whale from Drowning in Fishing Gear

A hopelessly entangled Bryde’s whale was in danger of dying when a heroic diver came to its rescue.

César Espino shrugged off the danger to himself and spent over an hour cutting free a whale that had become tangled in longline netting.

The whale, which was spotted near the Canary Islands, was gaunt and in failing health. Espino worked diligently to remove ropes and lines from the whale’s mouth and tail.

Espino said, “As we approached the longline we saw a breathing whale and realized she was entangled in the rope. I quickly jumped in the water and let the whale see me to know I was going to try to free her. I felt sorry for her, so I did not hesitate a moment.”

The diver’s friend spent the ordeal videotaping Espino during the amazing save.

When the whale found itself free it immediately moved away. The two men watched the large mammal swim slowly at first and then make speed enough to have a healthy getaway after all.

While originally identified as a humpback and even a fin whale, it was later determined by experts that it was indeed the rare Bryde’s whale.

As in so many instances involving the natural world, human beings are the animal’s best friend or their worst enemy. In this glorious case the animal met the right human.

Congratulations to Mr. Espino and his amazing save!


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Diver Saves Imperiled Bryde’s Whale from Drowning in Fishing Gear