SAN DIEGO -- SeaWorld's Rescue Team disentangled a 35-foot humpback whale in the ocean that was weighed down by six pots and 900 feet of rope Friday.
The whale was off the coast of La Jolla and would have died due to the lack of ability to swim from the entanglement, rescuers said.
The whale was spotted late Thursday by local birdwatcher and lifeguard, Gary Nunn. The SeaWorld Rescue Team was able to get on the water to assess the situation early Friday morning and then cut the whale free.
The four-hour effort was about a mile from Scripps Pier.
Once the whale was freed from the gear, it was observed swimming in a northwesterly direction.
SeaWorld has helped with 36,000 rescues over the last 55 years.