Humpback whale freed from fishing gear off Devon coast

Whale Image copyright Pete Moore/ Simon Marshall

Rescuers have freed a humpback whale which became trapped by fishing gear off the south coast of Devon.

The whale became entangled in fishing equipment at around 12:00 GMT off the coast at Blackpool Sands.

It was freed by volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).

The whale was originally spotted three weeks ago in Start bay and has been attracting visitors from across the UK.

Dave Jarvis from BDMLR said ropes "had been cut" to free the humpback which "moved off at speed".

Earlier an RNLI lifeboat was launched to assist the whale, which was entangled around 500 yards (457m) off shore.

Image copyright Pete Moore
Image caption Large numbers of people have travelled to Start Bay to try and spot the whale

James Wright, curator of the National Marine Aquarium, said it was "very surprising" to see the whale in Devon.

He added: "We would expect to see four or five around the Scottish Islands, but not necessarily around here."

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