DILLON BEACH — A group of local rescuers and federal officials have freed a whale that went into distress after getting entangled in a crab pot line.

Marine Mammal Center spokesman Jim Oswald tells The Marin Independent Journal (http://bit.ly/Jd3rhW) that the 18- to 20-foot-long juvenile gray whale had been spotted near Dillon Beach in Marin County on Sunday.

The Coast Guard and the National Marine Fisheries Service mounted a rescue effort in coordination with the nonprofit.

But the mammal was then spotted swimming in the same area on Monday. Rescuers soon discovered a crab pot line carrying several buoys had become wrapped inside and around the whale's mouth and pectoral fin.

Rescuers spent hours maneuvering a boat close enough to cut away the line. Oswald says the whale was soon freed and swam away.


Information from: Marin Independent Journal, http://www.marinij.com