Sunday, 24 August 2014

Killer whale pod rallies around orca trapped in fisherman's net

Co-owner of whale-watching firm describes race against time near Port Hardy

By Rhiannon Coppin, CBC News Posted: Aug 23, 2014 3:27 PM PT Last Updated: Aug 23, 2014 7:02 PM PT

A young killer whale is trapped in a fisherman's net. A pod of distressed whales cries out frantically as the youngster struggles to get free. Sightseers aboard a whale-watching boat that arrives to help are stunned at what they see.

"It's a very rare thing," said Nicole Mackay, co-owner of Port McNeill-based Mackay Whale Watching. "I never want to see it again."

While she was out on on the water with customers near Port Hardy Thursday morning, a fisherman radioed Comox coast guard asking for help because a whale had become entangled in his net.

'Watching all this happen was really quite terrifying ...'- Nicole Mackay

The captain of Mackay's boat realized they were very close to the fisherman's location, and they went to assist. They didn't know what to expect, but something they had heard just minutes earlier gave a clue.

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