The 9-meter Humpback whale carcass that was stuck between the rocks on the Sea Point shoreline on Thursday, December 9 was successfully removed by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), Police Dive Unit, and the City of Cape Town’s (COCT) Marine Animal Stranding Network.
According to NSRI Table Bay duty coxswain, Quentin Botha, at 6pm NSRI Table Bay duty crew and Police divers met at NSRI Table Bay sea rescue base, and an operation plan was prepared. Botha said at 7pm, the sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom and Spirit of Day was launched, accompanied by police divers and rendezvoused with the Department of Environment’s rigid inflatable craft, Sunray, on the scene.
“The Department of Environment – Oceans and Coasts had attached a bridal to the whale carcass where police divers then swam the rope attached to the bridal out to sea and they anchored the rope attached to a floatation buoy in preparation for an operation to be carried out at high tide.
“NSRI Table Bay duty crew were alerted during Thursday and at the request of the COCT prepared an operation, in cooperation with the Police Dive Unit, to tow the whale carcass at the next high tide at 19:35 to Oceana Power Boat Club where COCT solid waste management was arranging to remove the carcass,” Botha explained.
Also read: Whale carcass spotted on the rocks at Sea Point Promenade
Botha went on to say that the whale carcass was then towed out to sea, however, during the early stages of the towing operation, the carcass began to sink.
“It was agreed to tow the whale to deeper water to be released and at about 2 to 3 nautical miles off-shore, at a depth of 50 meters, the towing rope to the carcass was released and the carcass sunk,” Botha said.
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