Video emerges of RNLI rescuing humpback whale in Cornwall

Incredible video footage has emerged of the moment RNLI heroes rescued a humpback whale in Cornwall. The massive mammal, which has been seen locally before and named Ivy, had become trapped in lobster pot lines in Mount's Bay.

A witness, who as it happened had driven to Cornwall in the hope of seeing one of the majestic animals that have been repeatedly spotted off the Cornish coast, managed to capture the moment the lifesaving volunteers flew into action. The incident happened in Mount’s Bay, near the port of Newlyn, near Penzance, on Sunday, March 31.

Isabelle O'Shea, from near Exeter in Devon, who shares her work on Facebook and Instagram under the name The Dolphin Lady, posted the remarkable footage which she has also shared with CornwallLive. She said: "Brave lifeboat volunteers rescue entangled humpback whale in Mount's Bay.

Read Next: Gas leak closes harbour after waves knock cylinders over

Read Next: Five videos show Cornwall swamped by seas and floods in storms

"Having driven to Cornwall for the weekend in the hope of seeing a humpback whale, I couldn’t have anticipated the drama that unfolded off Newlyn this afternoon. A humpback whale, which has been identified as 'Ivy' and seen regularly off Porthleven recently, was spotted off Newlyn entangled in lobster pot lines.
"The local wildlife community was quick to act and British Divers Marine Life Rescue and the large whale disentanglement team were contacted. With the risk to the whale and the shipping community, the Penlee inshore lifeboat crew were able to respond.
"In very rough conditions and in peril from the distressed whale, they were able to free it from the ropes and stayed with it as it gathered itself before going on its way. Massive thanks and respect to the four crew members involved."

Get the best stories and latest news delivered to your inbox every day. Choose what you want here.

RNLI volunteers go to the rescue of a humpback whale off Newlyn in Mount's Bay, Cornwall
RNLI volunteers go to the rescue of a humpback whale off Newlyn in Mount's Bay, Cornwall -Credit:@thedolphinlady

Ivy had been spotted by Marine Discovery Penzance, a wildlife-watching tour company. Hannah Wilson, co-owner of the company, said the whale was “stuck fast”.

“Stuck fast, motionless, breathing only every three to four minutes, which isn’t too bad," she said. "You know if they’re panting or breathing every minute that’s bad, but it’s breathing was fairly calm, but it was very stationary. So we don’t know how long it had been.”

Join CornwallLive on WhatsApp and be first to hear what's happening near you

The whale was “silent and still” she said. Hannah said her team felt “helpless” as they were under strict instructions not to intervene because of the choppy conditions.

“I think, well who knows what they’re thinking, but I think it may have had its struggle and was giving up,” she said. However, the RNLI were able to cut the whale free from the ropes.

“It’s incredible what the guy at helm achieved because it was properly rough," added Hannah. "By then there was steep short chop, poor visibility, the whale started moving by this point.

“It was very impressive what he did. They cut the crucial rope, and the whale moved off, and that was that.”