A humpback whale that attracted crowds of whale-watchers had to be rescued for a second time this weekend after becoming entangled in fishing nets.
Lifeboat crews said the huge mammal knew they were trying to help and was "very cooperative".
Salcombe RNLI Lifeboat tasked to Blackpool Sands, whale appears to be entangled.— RNLI Salcombe (@RNLISalcombe) April 1, 2017
Free Again!! Great team work RNLI Salcombe, RNLI Dart along with two Divers. pic.twitter.com/YdgSxrkHCj— RNLI Salcombe (@RNLISalcombe) April 1, 2017
Just a week ago the whale had to be cut free on the Devon shoreline.
And on Saturday it was caught up in whelk pot lines off a fishing vessel, prompting the RNLI to be called in.
Dan Jarvis of British Divers Marine Life Rescue told the BBC: "Fortunately this time it was a much easier operation and with the experience we had from the last time, it was all done and dusted in about an hour.
"The whale was quite exhausted, but they're very intelligent animals, so I'd like to think it knew we were trying to help and was very cooperative."
30 minutes after being tasked to help in setting free a trapped whale RNLISalcombe volunteer crews training with Coast Guard air rescue team pic.twitter.com/xUZb3nHZgU— RNLI Salcombe (@RNLISalcombe) March 22, 2017
It's like a scene from Mission Impossible, a crew member is leaning off the boat with a knife attempting to cut it free! Amazing! pic.twitter.com/ayHhqX6SNp— Henry Kirkwood �� (@HenryKirkwood92) March 22, 2017
The whale is believed to have been travelling north, but had stopped in the area to make the most of feeding from plankton and small fish.
Rescuers said the animal appeared to be uninjured after it was set free.
A spokesman for the RNLI said: "Initially the divers thought they may be able to free the whale relatively easily.
"However, the line was caught around the whale's tail so it would have been extremely dangerous for the divers to be in the water if she whipped her tail back once free."
A larger lifeboat suitable for poor weather conditions was called upon to help out, and two more volunteers boarded the fishing boat.
Crew members in special orange overalls and plastic helmets worked to release the distressed whale, which was spurting sprays of water.
The spokesman said: "The divers eventually freed the whale successfully by lifting the whale's tail out of the water as far as the could, and cutting the line around it's tail.
"No injuries were sustained by the divers, and the whale also appears to be uninjured."