Cape Ann, known for its picturesque coastline, became the backdrop of a heartwarming rescue mission as a distressed humpback whale mother, affectionately named Pinball, was successfully freed from fishing gear. The heartening news comes after a collaborative effort by the Center for Coastal Studies, the Coast Guard, and a dedicated commercial fishing crew.
The rescue operation was sparked when boaters reported spotting the entangled whale displaying signs of distress while swimming alongside her 8-month-old calf on a Saturday morning. The Center for Coastal Studies swiftly responded, orchestrating a vigilant watch over the whale pair as they made their way southward.
The Marine Animal Entanglement Response team from the Center meticulously devised a plan to extricate the whale from the encumbering fishing gear. Employing a combination of large floats and the controlled force generated by their small inflatable boat, the team skillfully removed all the ensnaring gear lodged within the whale’s mouth. This dedicated endeavor resulted in the ultimate liberation of Pinball from her predicament.
The team’s efforts didn’t conclude with her liberation; they stood by Pinball’s side until she was safely reunited with her calf, ensuring the pair’s well-being.
Amy Warren, a respected scientist from the New England Aquarium, shared her admiration for Pinball, a standout humpback whale known for her exceptional mothering skills. Having nurtured around eight calves, Pinball’s annual appearances in the New England waters have left an indelible mark, making her a favorite among marine enthusiasts and researchers alike.
As the sun sets over Cape Ann, this triumphant rescue stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication of those who tirelessly work to safeguard the well-being of our ocean’s magnificent inhabitants.