A humpback whale named Foggy was caught in a tangle of ropes, fishing line, and lobster traps off the coast of Long Island recently, but she got help from human rescuers — and from a whale friend who refused to leave her side until she was free. All that romantic advice and shoe guidance you got from your friends seems kinda paltry now, doesn’t it?
According to Christine Callaghan, a whale tour guide, Foggy was “in a real mess”:
She had rope wrapped around her head and across her blowholes, and as we carefully approached, we could see that she also had a loop of rope across her peduncle (the narrow part of her tail, just ahead of the flukes), dragging a mass of old lobster traps beneath her. She was listing to one side with the weight of all the gear.
A Whale Disentanglement Crew (which is apparently a thing, OMG new career goal) was dispatched, and they freed Foggy as quickly as they could. But they had to do so under the watchful eye of Foggy’s friend Grommet, another female humpback whale who stuck with Foggy through the whole ordeal. Callaghan:
I will challenge anyone who claims that humans are the only intelligent, empathetic animals. Grommet never left Foggy’s side, frequently spy-hopping throughout the long afternoon while we waited for the Whale Disentanglement Crew in their Fast Rescue Craft to arrive from Campobello Island.
Once Foggy was free, Grommet finally left her side — to leap from the water in a celebratory breach, pictured above. Whales are amazing! I have never ONCE had a friend do a celebratory breach for me.