A sperm whale at risk of drowning was saved thanks to the efforts of a brave diver. Hugues Vitry heard that a sperm whale was in trouble 8 miles off the coast of Mauritius.
The whale was dragging an anchored rope that disappeared more than 2000 metres to the Indian Ocean floor.
When Vitry arrived, he recognized the whale as ‘Tache Blanche’, a young whale that he had been following for 10 years. He noticed that the whale’s lower jaw had been forced wide open by the buoyed ropes and that it would only be a short time before the animal drowned.
Vitry had to work quickly so he began to cut the rope around the whale’s jaws and remove the metal clamps between its teeth. It took an excruciatingly long six minutes and his rescue efforts were interrupted by a nearby boat, which spooked the whale.
Thankfully, enough of the rope was cut and it floated to the surface in pieces as the whale descended into the deep.
Vitry is the president of the charity Marine Megafauna Conservation Organization, a group that helps to educate fishers, marine operators and local communities about the importance of protecting and respecting large marine animals.